Sanskrit Name: Anahata | Location: Heart Center | Element: Air | Color: Green | Crystal: Pink Quartz, Jade, Green Calcite

As we start to develop our strong, earthly foundation at the root chakra, we eventually cultivate our creativity and sexuality in the sacral chakra. When we embrace and rejoice in that childlike inspiration, we find a fiery passion in our solar plexus chakra that helps us manifest our creativity to transform it into positive action. These lower chakras of matter are essential to creating a solid foundation that will allow your heart chakra to integrate a loving openness and connection to the higher chakras of spirit, providing optimal energy flow through all of your chakras.

The Heart Chakra Symbol

As with everything in life, the heart chakra is a balance of feminine energies, the chakras of matter, and masculine energies, the chakras of spirit. These yin and yang flows of energy meet in the middle at the heart chakra where we learn to combine our femininity and masculinity to find a wonderful balance in all matters of the heart. This is the core of the heart chakra symbol.

Often represented with vibrant dark green colors and deep red accents, the heart chakra symbol starts with a circle that, in the middle, has two intersecting triangles that form a six-pointed star – the combination of our masculine and feminine ways. The circle is depicted with twelve petals around it, representing the lotus flower. In Hindu chakra traditions, each of the twelve petals represents a Sanskrit syllable sound that signifies a plexus where vital energy flows in and out of.

The heart chakra also has a deep connection to the element of air, which emphasizes the importance of connectedness in the heart chakra. Just as the heart chakra works to connect the matter and spirit chakras, air is essential to keeping everything moving and alive on this earth. We rely on air to disperse and work together in many facets of our life, just as the heart chakra does – as a center of integration, connection, and healing.

Understanding the Heart Chakra

Anahata is the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra, translating to “unhurt” or “unstruck.” Even though life is full of difficulties, hardships, hurt feelings, and past traumas, there is still a place deep inside of our hearts that cannot be harmed, a safe place for all feelings and aspirations to dwell. Anahata is all about using your heart to help guide you down the right path, all while staying grounded in your center that allows you to move through life with ease, happiness, and love for all – because a loving compassion is the truest way to healing.

When the heart chakra is aligned and thriving from positive energy flows, you start to create deep bonds with yourself and others that allow you to open your heart. Because it is an integrative chakra, Anahata is responsible for bringing you a sense of fulfillment and wholeness. We become connected to others in deep and meaningful ways – but we have also developed a strong sense of self-love and compassion that allows us to thrive in other relationships. We start to get in touch with who we are at our core as compassionate, open-minded, and grounded humans that crave fulfilling relationships.

A balanced heart chakra teaches you to put your needs and desires first because you have the capacity to lovingly learn who you are and what you need to be happy. This creates stronger communication patterns with yourself (such as positive self-talk) and others, while helping you learn to create healthy boundaries within relationships so that you do not feel taken advantage of. When you learn how to experience and understand your reactions and feelings, you begin to open emotionally to the world around you, creating peaceful vibrations that radiate from your heart center.

Signs Your Heart Chakra is Blocked or Overactive

With a strong connection to the thymus gland, hormone production, and regulation of the immune system, an out of balance Anahata is most often noticed through physical ailments. Since the heart chakra is connected to the heart center, the area that promotes healthy blood flow to the rest of the body, many people will experience blood pressure issues and a lowered immune system. If you continue to find yourself with a sickness you just can’t seem to shake, chances are your heart chakra is blocked. There is also signs of an unaligned heart chakra that manifest as hormone imbalances and lung infections because of where the heart chakra is located.

When your heart chakra is blocked, underactive, or deficient you will experience a lot of anxiety that leads to negative self-talk and isolation. You often start to react to situations out of fear that has been created from years of anxiety, instead of remembering that you should be living your life from a place of radiant love. By the time you have disengaged from all meaningful relationships, as is often the case with an underactive Anahata, you will experience feelings of depression and low self-worth.

On the contrary, an overactive or excessive heart chakra leads to strong codependency issues. You may struggle to be independent or rely too heavily on the love and praise of someone else to signify your importance. Either way, excessive energy flow into the Anahata can lead to strong jealousy and intimacy issues within relationships. Just like an underactive heart chakra, you may experience feelings of depression, negative self-talk, isolation, and tending to hold grudges.

With both blocked or excessive heart chakras, poor energy flow through your heart center can be caused from childhood trauma, a skewed reality on how healthy relationships function, and heart break. A loved one may have moved on from your life because the relationship was not right, a parent may have broken your trust when you were younger in a powerful way, your spouse may have passed away, you feel as if your friends take advantage of you (toxic relationships), or maybe you don’t see yourself as valuable. All of these scenarios and more can lead to an unbalanced Anahata, but when your heart hurts, no matter the reason, it is vital to a healthy, exciting, and fulfilling life to develop loving habits again – starting with learning to love yourself.

How to Balance Your Heart Chakra

Living from a place of understanding, compassion, and love is one of the best ways to move through life. You feel full, as if you have everything you need to succeed in life always. Who doesn’t want that? We may not feel it every single day for the rest of our lives, but we can find ways to balance our heart chakra to experience a certain level of gratitude and openness to all that life gives to us.

One of the most important ways to balance your Anahata, as with all of the chakras, is to get outside and find ways to ignite your connection to the elements that fuel and balance our energy centers. Lucky for you, air is everywhere – but getting outside into fresh air is best. Go for a walk in the sunshine or snow and take deep, conscious, loving breaths. Breathe in the smells of our earth that ground us. Go for a hike or run and get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Feel how alive your heart center truly is.

The other very important way to open your heart chakra is two-fold – to practice self-love and care while learning to let go of all the heartache of the past that holds you back. It is vital to your mental, physical, and spiritual health that you incorporate time, even just thirty minutes, every single day to you. Meditate and visualize your heart center opening up and radiating vibrant reds, greens, and pinks to activate your heart chakra. Start a thirty day yoga challenge that forces you to create a small amount of time to love yourself and your body. Treat yourself to a coffee and enjoy it uninterrupted, unplugged form the rest of the world for just five minutes. Buy yourself a massage or do a cheaper at home facial.

No matter what ignites your self-love – do it! As you start to learn to love who you are again, start to meditate with the word’s forgiveness and gratitude. Learn to forgive and let go of those heart traumas that no longer serve you, while being grateful for what you do have right in this moment. When you become more grateful for all that you have – you can even start a daily gratitude list to get started – you learn to forgive more openly and fully. This forgiveness opens the doors to your heart, the ultimate healer, allowing you to walk through life with a selfless and vibrant compassion for all.