The heart chakra, or Anahata in its original Sanskrit name, colors our life with compassion, love, and beauty. Driven by the principles of transformation and integration, the fourth energy center is said to bridge earthly and spiritual aspirations. Explore what makes the essence of this chakra and how to unravel its powerful energy to enrich your life.

The energy of anahata allows us to recognize that we are part of something larger, that we are interconnected within an intricate web of relationships extending through life and the universe.

Anahata allows us to recognize and get in touch with the sacred and fundamental truth that runs through all of life and connects everything together.

The Heart chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioral characteristics:

  • Capacity to love
  • Integration, bridge between earthly and spiritual aspirations
  • Transcending personal identity and limitations of the ego
  • Experience of unconditional love and connection with all
  • Heart-centered discernment
  • Appreciation of beauty in all things
  • Experiencing deep and meaningful relationships

The fourth chakra connects the lower and upper chakras. In other words, the heart chakra acts as a center of integration of earthly matters and higher aspirations. Far from seeing these energies as separate, the experience of the heart integrates them effortlessly and harmoniously.

The Heart chakra is all about connecting and relating. The emphasis here is on love, giving and receiving, and how open we are in relationships. Love is the energy that helps transfigure emotions and experiences. It’s an essential element in any relationship, whether it’s is with others or oneself.

The “way of the heart” or the “path of the heart” is living your life from this energy center of love. When anahata is open and energy is flowing freely, you are not only loving to others, you are also loving to your self. You know when you need to say no and when you need care and self-nurturing.

The heart chakra can become imbalanced as a result of life experiences that have a strong emotional charge, physical illments, or significant changes in your environment. It may manifests as a blockage in the energy flow or, on the contrary, a tendency to become overactive or have an excess of energy.

You can see the following signs of imbalance in the heart chakra :

  • Being overly defensive
  • Feeling closed down
  • Jealousy; fear of intimacy
  • Codependency, relying on other’s approval and attention, trying to please at all cost
  • Always putting oneself in the role of the savior or the rescuer; or on the contrary, falling into victimization
  • Excessive isolation, being recluse, antisocial
  • Holding grudges, not being to forgive

At the physical level, it can manifest as:

  • Respiratory ailments, such as lung infection, bronchitis
  • Circulatory and heart-related issues

When the energy in your fourth chakra is blocked or hindered, you may experience what is sometimes referred to as heart chakra pain.

Five Best Stones for the Heart Chakra:

  • Rose quartz — Pink — Semi-precious — Used to open and heal. The seemingly universal rose quartz meaning calls it the stone of the heart. It’s good for aiding sleep and alleviating the physical ills associated with heart chakra imbalance. It’s also used to calm emotions, dispel negativity, and promote peace.
  • Jade — Green to white — Semi-precious — Used to balance. Jade promotes emotional and physical healing of the heart’s ills.
  • Green calcite — Semi-precious — Used to balance and stimulate. Recommended to absorb negativity and boost your physical immunity, calcite is used to promote healing and transformation.
  • Green tourmaline — Semi-precious — Used to open and stimulate. Considered a stone of rejuvenation, tourmaline promotes emotional stability and healing.
  • Green Aventurine — Semi-precious — Used to activate. A stone of vitality aventurine increases focus and soothes emotions.

Simple ideas to balance the heart chakra

To get started, try out these few simple practices:

  • Work with the breath to balance your energy; observe it, play with it with breathing exercises
  • Cultivate your appreciation for beauty, whether it’s in nature, people or in the arts
  • Practice self-care and love your body up, from a good bath with rose essential oil to yoga poses opening the heart area
  • Cultivate self-compassion and acceptance, especially with regards to your emotions and body
  • Engage in activities that feed your heart
  • Focus on receiving if you are naturally inclined to be a giver; and on giving if you’re more inclined to receive all the time
  • Reflect on old wounds inherited from family relationships and come to terms with them compassionately; practice forgiveness deep within your heart
  • Express your gratitude, even if it’s in silence; you can be grateful for the presence of other people in your life or simply for good things that make your life easier and happier
Sanskrit name: Anahata – unstruck
Element: Air
Color: Green
Shape: Crescent moon
Petals of the lotus: Twelve
Seed sound: Lam
Vowel sound: Ay
Rights: To love
Endocrine gland: Thymus
Physical association: Heart, lungs, circulatory system, arms, hands
Psychological function: Love
Identity: Social identity
Developmental stage: 3.5 to 7 years
Challenge: Grief
Plane: The plane of balance
Planets: Venus (lunar, feminine), Sun
Deity: Vishnu, Lakshmi, Krishna
Mythological Animal: Antelope, dove, birds
Sense organ: Skin
Predominant sense: Touch
Incense: Jasmin, lavender, rose
Herb: Yarrow, meadowsweet, oris root
Sephira: Tiphareth
Tarot suite: Swords