When our hearts are open we tend to have more optimism, compassion, deeper relationships, and less cynicism. As we become more empathetic, our emotional intelligence grows with an open heart. Unfortunately, a lot of us armoured our hearts when we were younger because of heartbreak and hurt. It was painful to feel so we built up walls around our hearts and distanced ourselves from our emotions. To open your heart and start to release some of these barriers, a great way to do this is through opening the heart chakra. You maybe wondering, "what is a chakra?"
The chakras were first discovered in India thousands of years ago. The word chakra in Sanskrit essentially means “spinning disc”. Chakras are energy wheels within your body. There are seven main chakras: root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus charka, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra, and the crown chakra. They are separate yet connected to the physical and energetic body. These spinning discs support and process energy that flow through you.
Each chakra is associated with different aspects of your life and self, they keep us in balance and aligned. When a chakra is blocked and there are many reasons why a chakra can be blocked, these discs are no long spinning at a healthy capacity. Below gives you a better understanding of the heart chakra, what it looks like when it is blocked and how to open it and connect with your heart.
Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Meaning: Unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten
Energy Type: Feminine
The heart chakra is the most powerful chakra of the main seven. It is the bridge between your lower three chakras and your higher three chakras. It is the balance between above and below. It is focused on your capacity to love yourself and others. The heart chakra is associated with your thymus gland and is located at the centre of the breastbone. The colour associated with the heart chakra is green, which is your ability to love others and pink is associated with loving yourself.
The symbol of the heart chakra has twelve petals symbolizing a lotus flower. Within it contains two triangles or a hexagram that creates a star called the Yantra. The symbol represents balance by uniting both male and female energies. It creates a harmony between genders.
Is your Heart chakra in balance?
When the heart chakra is open, some of the qualities include compassion towards others, empathy, and understanding. Your relationships are built on mutual respect, support, unconditional love and empathy. You most likely have strong relationships with friends and family. You are able to love yourself unconditionally.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about the Heart chakra:
· Are you able to see other people’s point of view?
· Are you compassionate towards other people?
· Do you find it easy to show yourself compassion and self-love?
· Are you able to light up a room with your presence?
· Do people naturally come to you for help or advice?
· Are you able to forgive easily and let go of resentment?
· Do you have natural healing abilities?
· Do you find it easy to empathize with others?
· Do you utilize active listening while interacting with people?
If you answered, “Yes” to most of these questions then you most likely have a healthy heart chakra. If you are unsure and perhaps answered, “No” to the majority of these questions, then you may have some work to do on opening your heart chakra.
Do you have an overactive heart chakra?
When your heart chakra is blown-open, you might find yourself overly emotional. You may become overwhelmed by other people’s emotions. You may find it hard to separate their emotions from your own. You may lack self-discipline or have issues with boundaries.
Do you have a blocked heart chakra?
When your heart chakra is blocked you may be overly critical of yourself and others. You may find it hard to see others people’s perspective or to empathize with their situation. You may be more self-centred or distant towards others. You may have issues with trust. Opening up and being vulnerable may be hard for you.
Lack of compassion: You may find it hard to empathize with others and see their point of view if you lack compassion. It is easier to see your own perspective than understanding other perspectives. Those with a lack of compassion, tend to be more judgemental towards others and themselves.
Judgement: When your heart chakra is blocked, you tend to judge people more harshly. You may have a tendency to compare yourself to others. These comparisons may cause jealousy and resentment towards those that you consider to be more successful or accomplished in your eyes. You may also judge yourself the hardest and feel that you are not good enough.
External satisfaction: You may look externally to evaluate happiness. Evaluating success based on materialistic wealth with the mentality of “I’ll be happy when I have…” The constant external search for happiness and comparison to others creates an insatiable need that rarely is satisfied.
What are the physical symptoms?
When your heart chakra is blocked there can be physical symptoms that arise. A blocked heart chakra can affect the heart, lungs, chest, arms and hands. Some of the physical symptoms that might manifest from a blocked heart chakra can include chronic fatigue, upper back and shoulder problems, high or low blood pressure, poor circulation or breathing problems.
How do you clear a blocked heart chakra?
The heart chakra becomes stronger when you are able to truly love you for yourself. It opens and expands when you have deep relationships with others and compassion without judgement. Your heart chakra wants to release what no longer is serving you, which includes resentment, anger and hurt. One of my favourite sayings, “love and fear cannot be in the same room.” When you have love in your heart, it is easier to forgive others, be compassionate and to release judgement.
Self-Love: This is one of the most profound ways of opening your heart chakra. When you open up yourself to self-love this creates a lasting effect. You start to have more inner peace with self-love and realize that you are perfect in your imperfections. You also start to appreciate yourself. Instead of harshly judging your ways, you love yourself unconditionally. This is the first step to inner peace is by knowing that you are enough.
Gratitude: One of the best ways to open up the heart chakra is through gratitude. Being grateful for what you have naturally opens the heart chakra because of its high vibrations and gives appreciation to what we have in our lives. Gratitude also allows us to be more present during the day to stop and appreciate everything around us. It helps us to get outside of our own head when we have constant negative thoughts swirling around on a daily basis. We usually do not appreciate what we have until it is gone. Using a gratitude stone can help to remind us to be grateful throughout the day. You can use any stone and set the intention that this is your gratitude stone. Keep it in your pocket and whenever you pick it up; think about what you are grateful for in life. This will help to instantly fill you up with love. Another method to add more gratitude into your life is through a gratitude journal. At the end of the day, you write about everything that you are grateful for and all the moments you appreciated during the day.
Forgiveness: To be able to forgive someone is profound work on the heart chakra. It releases the negative energy that you have been holding from the resentment and the pain. When you are able to fill your heart with love, it helps you to let go and forgive those that have wronged you. Your heart will become lighter and free from low vibrational pulls (ie. negative emotions). The inner work that is required to forgive usually comes from releasing the hurt, anger and resentment by replacing it with love and acceptance. Forgiveness is a journey to inner peace.
Yoga for Heart Chakra
Yoga can play an important role in helping to strengthen chakras. As with meditating, yoga helps to calm your mind and open up your body through breathing. The following yoga poses focus on opening the chest and expanding the heart chakra:
· Kapha-Pacifying (Angel wings pose)
· Ustrasana (Camel pose)
· Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose)
· Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
· Matsyasana (Fish pose)
The energetic life force of crystals can be your ally in assisting with opening chakras. Crystals can be used to help clear blockages within chakras. Crystals associated with the heart chakra can help you to open your heart to love, to feel compassion, empathy and feel abundant joy in your life. The crystals below are associated with the heart chakra and can assist in removing blockages.
Rose Quartz: Has a feminine gentle energy that focuses on unconditional self-love. It harnesses the elements of harmony, peace and compassion
Rhodochrosite: This crystal has a playful energy that helps to bring out your inner child. Connects the elements of water and fire and may assist in attracting one’s life partner. This crystal focuses on self-love and encourages taking action on the heart’s purpose.
Moldavite: Is a meteorite that helps assist in transformation. It has been known to be called the “Holy Grail Stone”. It resonates with the vibration of love.
In my experience, breathwork has been very beneficial for healing the chakras. Conscious connected breath is an active breathing technique. It over oxygenates the body to start releasing stagnant energy that could be in your body for years lying dormant. This stagnant energy can contribute to blocked chakras and this type of breathing can help to elevate consciousness along with releasing native energy. Focusing on gratitude and unconditional love can have a powerful impact during breathwork to connect with the angelic realm.
Combining meditation with visualization is a powerful way to open your chakras. The more your imagination can use its creative imagery to paint a world of possibilities, the more you become fully immersed in the meditation. Listen to the free guided audio meditation to assist in opening your heart chakra.
“I love myself unconditionally”
“I radiate with compassion, love and forgiveness”
“I am enough”
“I am connected to everyone”
“I fill my heart with love”
“I am grateful for everything in my life”
“I am worthy of love”
“I will always love you unconditionally”
“I release my negative energy and replace it with unconditional love.”
“My gratitude and appreciation fills the world”
The heart chakra has several different sensations when it is opened including tightness around the chest, you may feel an ache because these are growing pains. There might be a cracking sensation that feels like the heart is opening.