Chakras are wheels of energy where we receive, assimilate and distribute life energies. Through external situations (pressures of life) or internal habits, such as poor physical alignment or self-destructiveness, a chakra can become imbalanced. The simplest way to balance each chakra is to create alignment in the physical body. Your body reflects your imbalances, acting as a mirror through which you can gauge how each chakra is functioning. Your physical practice is the first step toward aligning your body and balancing each chakra. Instead of trying to change the way the mind works and overcoming years of patterns and beliefs, Joga postures work to realign the physical energy centers that govern specific behaviors.
The fourth Chakra, Anahata chakra, sits in the middle of the chakra system and is the core of our spirit. Its physical location is in the heart, upper chest and upper back. It integrates the matter of the lower three chakra’s with the spirit of the top three chakra’s encouraging a balance of peace and harmony. Anahata in Sanskrit translates to ‘un-stuck’ or ‘un-hurt’ meaning that beyond the pain of heart break and brokenness that coincide with life experience, we all possess the ability to embrace boundless love and compassion.
The physical signs of a deficient heart chakra are the shoulders rolling forward, the head dropped and the chest sunken in. The traits that are apparent would be shyness, loneliness, inability to forgive and lack of empathy. Symptoms would include asthma, shortness of breath and even lung disease. Physical postures that open the chest and extend the spine will allow us to open the heart chakra enabling us to let go of fear and receive love.
The opposite of an over powering heart chakra; attributes of this would be co-dependency, possessiveness, jealousy, heart disease and high blood pressure. The physical postures that are prescribed for an overbearing fourth chakra would be any kind of forward fold that encourages us to go inwards and introspect. From here we can discover how we can nourish ourselves as opposed to looking to others or taking this nourishment from others. After all, love is the greatest healer for our selves and the world around us.
ANAHATA CHAKRA (un-stuck heart)
Location: Centre of the heart
Verb: “I want to give and receive love”
Color: Green (pink secondary colour)
Yantra: Star of David
Domain: compassion, beginning of self-realization, unconditional love, sharing, selfless service, emotional clarity
Questions to ask if Anahata Chakra is balanced:
- Do I have trouble finding meaning in my life
- Is it hard for me to relate to others
- Am I over emotional
- Do I dis-like being alone with my thoughts and feelings
- Am I always looking for others to fulfill my emotional needs
- Do people disappoint me easily
Physical Postures to Balance Anahata Chakra: (Camel + Little Bridge)