The fourth chakra is the anahata or heart chakra. It is located in the center of the chest, heart and upper back. This is the first chakra that really goes beyond the physical body and the Earth. This chakra is considered the bridge or link between the spirit and the physical. It is associated with love, peace and harmony. As for the body, it is associated with the immune system, the endocrine system and circulation in the body. People that need to open the heart chakra tend to cut themselves off from their emotions and lead with their intellectual mind. They may also tend to be shy, hold grudges or be unable to have empathy for others. People with an overabundance of the heart chakra energy may be jealous, co-dependent, and/or possessive of others.
Other characteristics of anahata chakra include:
- Color: Green
- Element: Air
- Mantra: Yam
- Petals on the lotus flower: 12
- God: Isha
- Goddess: Kakini
Poses that can help someone deficient in the heart chakra include chest openers and backbends. These can include camel pose, bridge or wheel pose, or a restorative backbend with a block or bolster directly underneath the shoulder blades, letting the chest open. Breathing, pranayama, is also helpful to get the chest open and lungs functioning more fully.
For those with too much anahata chakra, forward folds can help bring these folks back to Earth. Poses like the seated forward fold, paschimottanasana, cobbler's pose and even child's pose. These poses allow one to look inside a little more deeply and love themselves.
Tomorrow: Visuddha Chakra