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The Heart of the Matter: Anahata (Heart) Chakra

by Beth

Plain of Air by Rene MagritteThis is part 5 in my succession on the chakras. The last berth focused on Manipura( Solar Plexus) chakra, and how we sense, feel and recognize our personal strength, purity, and self-definition. This pole will explore Anahata( Heart) chakra.

The literal entail of anahata is “un-struck”( unhurt, unbeaten ). Anahata is said to be located in the center of the chest and related to the thymus gland. This part is part of the immune system and the endocrine system. It creates T cadres responsible for crusading off ailment, and can be adversely affected by stress. The point associated with the Heart chakra is air.

In her work, Anatomy of the Spirit, Carolyn Myss writes 😛 TAGEND

“The fourth chakra is the central powerhouse of the human energy system. The middle chakra, it mediates between the body and force and determines their health and strength.”

Two publications we need to address in working with this chakra are love and relationships with ourselves and with others. As you might imagine these are central life issues that ask us to develop an internal feelings steadiness and allay from which to act consciously with relevant borders, enjoying kindness, forgiveness and pity. Not always an easy project, specially when the body has suffered second chakra trauma.

Stephen Levine discusses that point in his volume, Healing Into Life and Death. In working with one wife who had suffered sexual assault at an early age, he made the connection between the Heart and Sacral chakras–what he calls the spiritual upper heart and the heart of the womb, the lower nature. He wrote 😛 TAGEND

“Clearly countless women’s upper feelings had become inaccessible when their lower stomaches had closed due to abuse and shocking mishandling.”

This is certainly applicable to men and to those who place their gender identity at any point on the rainbow of human expression as well.

For those of who have not digested this type of second chakra pain, working with heart energy can still be a complicated outing. Boundary, trust, and intimacy issues often get in the way of achieving clarity, equilibrium, and healing. For many years, I knew a evident inner discomfort when school teachers led our world-class through navigated meditations on opening the heart. I would almost always determine my stomach as a cave with the entrance covered by a heavy wooden doorway. I had enough self-awareness at the time to know that I was protecting my centre from years of being baffled, feeling ignored, and being’ othered.’ Now, after more self-awareness work, I am more open to meditations on the heart, and if an request is not offered to protect my heart before opening the door, I generate myself permission to do that.

I learned about the wisdom of protecting the heart before opening it during a weekend training at the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania with Shari Fredrickson. In small work of the working group, we were to prepare a short sequence on working with heart energy. The focus of most of the groups, including pit, was heart-opening postures like Ustrasana and Matsyasana. Shari, recommended we consider beginning with a protective posture for the heart before furnish a center opening practise. The light bulb went off in my brain. Lesson learned.

We can gain clarity around our success or lack of success in working with heart energy by discover how we greeting or respond to situations we face in our lives. For example: If our sensing of a situation is wrong, wrong activity likely follows.If our sensing is correct but we have doubt or fright, we may take no action or wrong action.If our knowledge is correct and we are clear in improved understanding, right act will likely arise even if the outcome is not what we expected or desired.

Balancing and mending centre force is, like all self-awareness rehearses, a lifelong journey. In Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith’s list of salving traditions for the fourth chakra, includes the suggestion to “Work with the arms- contacting out, taking in.” Here is one of my favorite the resources necessary to do that while honoring Shari Fredrickson’s suggestion.

Dynamic Cobra( Bhujangasana)

This is also a recommended rule for the Sacral chakra. I’ve made a few variations for Anahata chakra.

1. Come to the floor on your hands and knees with your knees hips-width apart( or wider if that is more cozy) and your limbs shoulders-width apart and outstretched.

2. Exhale as you sit back onto your ends in Child’s pose( Balasana ), to generate a feeling of safety, security, and protection. Take several wheezes here.

3. When “youre feeling” ready, inhale, is going through Hands and Knees position to lower yourself into your comfortable explanation of a straight-armed Cobra. Take a few sighs here if you are comfortable.

4. When ready, exhale, push yourself up to Hands and Knees and sit back into Child’s pose.

5. Pick a pace and lilt that is comfortable for your form as you move through the flow.

6. Repeat at your opt gait for a minute or more.

7. Rest in Child’s pose.

If you need a more accessible practice, try Kundalini Spinal Flexes in a chair:

1. Sit comfortably in your chair with your hands on your thighs.

2. Exhale as you round your prickle and back with your chest sunken, declining your chin to your dresser. Take various breathers here if you are pleasant.

3. Inhale, flex your backbone and back forward, pulling the chest. Take various breaths here if you are comfortable.

4. Repeat at your prefer gait for a minute or more.

5. To finish, inhale and hold your gulp in on the forward flex for a second or two.

6. Exhale as you round your back and spine. Hold the wheeze out for a second or two.

7. Inhale to center, and rest.

“What a revolutionary proposition to realize that your heart-brokenness turns out to be the key to your willingness to remember what it takes to be a human being.” — Stephen Jenkinson

Beth’s self-awareness newsletter is published six times a year. It features informative, stimulating and entertaining tips for detect clarity, happiness, and resilience in a complicated world. For more information and to sign up for the newsletter go to

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