Heart Chakra, or 'Anahata', is the central point of your entire chakra system and a place where you can finally realize the oneness of all things.
It functions as your spiritual center, which helps you to grow a loving connection to yourself and others by cultivating compassion, empathy, joy of being alive, and truth.
When your heart chakra is in its healthiest state, it allows you to have a sense of oneness with everything and transcend duality. The energy of the heart chakra is similar to the qualities of air: it is expansive, formless, soft, and gentle.
When your heart chakra is blocked, you will experience an overwhelming feeling of emptiness, apathy, stress, anxiety, lack of genuine connection with others, and lack of self-trust.
One of the main reasons for heart chakra blockage is the fear of living an authentic life. Restoring the balance in that center calls for an honest assessment of your current lifestyle.
Healing and unblocking your heart chakra will allow you to ultimately transcend the ego and connect to the unifying force of love.
Love is the essence of your soul, and your heart center has its own unique intelligence.
Let's have look at my favorite ways to cultivate a loving heart and open your heart chakra:
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1. Heart Chakra Breathing
Breath is one of the best ways of working with your heart chakra. Hindus understand the importance of breath (sometimes referred to as 'prana') and its purifying energy.
Pranayama techniques in yoga have been designed to practice breath control, increase the oxygen flow in the body, and expand consciousness. Breath in traditional Chinese culture (known as “Qi”, which translates to “air” or “life force”) is the foundation of medicine and martial arts, such as Qigong.
Air is the element that represents the qualities of heart chakra: expansiveness, freedom, and a constant flow. Breath is your energetic life force and a primary nutrient of the body.
Here are few amazing breathing exercises for a healthy heart chakra:
1a. Diaphragmatic Breathing
It is an easy and powerful breathing technique that involves contracting your diaphragm muscle, which separates the abdomen from the chest.
The best way to practice diaphragmatic breathing is to place one of your hands over your chest and the other hand on your belly.
When you take an inhale, your belly is supposed to expand and poke out with your lower hand going outward.
There should be a minimal movement of your upper hand, and the air during inhalation should be going downward. As you exhale, the air is going upward, and your belly contracts.
Practice this technique daily for 5-10 minutes to get into the habit of breathing from the belly, not the chest.
1b. Gamma Breathing
This is my personal favorite breathing technique, which works wonders on releasing stress, anxiety, increasing your focus, creativity, happiness, and connecting with the power of love.
Gamma breathing shifts your brain into the gamma state. Gamma brainwaves are of the highest frequency in our brain (40-200Hz), and they are much more active in experienced meditators.
The good news is that you can easily shift your brain into this state by using this breathing technique!
Gamma breath consists of 4 cycles of breathing, where you alternate between breathing through your mouth and nose.
|BREATHE IN (3 sec inhale)||BREATHE OUT (3 sec exhale)|
Repeat this sequence at least 3 times and let me know in the comments below the article what do you think of it.
You can learn more about the power of gamma waves on the Mindvalley blog. (https://blog.mindvalley.com/gamma-brain-waves/).
1c. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing, also known as nadi shodana, is a purifying breathing technique used to release trapped energy channels in your body and calm the mind.
Nadi shodana will fill your heart center with oxygen and allow you to experience a gentle, cooling sensation throughout your body.
Here’s how to do alternate nostril breathing:
- Sit down with your back straight.
- Take your index finger and middle finger of your right hand and fold it towards your palm.
- Use the right thumb to close the right nostril and slowly inhale through the left nostril.
- Pause after the inhale and seal the left nostril with your ring finger.
- Slowly exhale through the right nostril.
- Keep your ring finger in the same place and inhale through the right side.
- Seal the right nostril with a thumb and exhale through the left.
- Keep your thumb in the same place and inhale through the left nostril.
If you find it confusing, keep in mind that each time you inhale, you're sealing and alternating to the next nostril.
1d. Breath of Fire
Breath of fire, also known as Kapalabhati Pranayama, is a powerful detoxifying breathing technique, which involves a series of short and powerful nose inhales (exhale is passive).
Breath of fire is very often performed during kundalini yoga exercises. It will increase the blood flow to your heart center, detoxify the body, and bring more clarity to your mind.
Kapalabhati is an intermediate breathing technique, and it is not recommended for people with certain health conditions. Please consult with a physician, or check with a qualified yoga instructor before trying this technique.
2. Heart Chakra Affirmations
Try some of these powerful heart chakra affirmations, which can be used throughout the day, or during your meditation to strengthen this energy center:
- I am worthy of love.
- I am open to giving and receiving love.
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I have the strength to follow my heart.
- I am fulfilling my heart’s desire.
- I can let go of the past to forgive myself and others.
- I have the willingness and ability to forgive myself and forgive others.
- I am open with my feelings in all my relationships.
- I am grateful for all my blessings.
- I am love, I am peace, I am light.
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3. Heart Chakra Yoga Poses
Yoga is a great way to work with your heart chakra, as certain physical poses (asanas) will allow you to open up your chest and shoulders.
Yoga also improves the oxygen circulation in your body, as most of the yoga exercises involve working with your breath (air is the primary element of Anahata).
Some of the best yoga poses to open up your heart chakra include:
- Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
- Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)
- Half Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
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4. Heart Chakra Meditation
This wonderful heart chakra meditation will help you to bridge the gap between the mind and the body. During this mediation, you will imagine the green color, focus on the feelings of love, and integrate the breath as a key to your heart center.
- Sit down with your back straight and relax your body by taking a few deep breaths.
- Once you are fully relaxed, start visualizing yourself surrounded by nature. It might be somewhere deep in the forest or a beautiful, green garden.
- Spend a few minutes there, enjoying the serenity, peace, and quietness.
- As you go deeper into this meditation, gently shift your attention to your heart chakra and imagine a green circle of energy right in the middle of your chest.
- Keep on breathing into our heart center and inflate this circle with feelings of joy, compassion, kindness, and unconditional love.
- Enjoy the healing energy which emanates from your heart space
- Stay in this state for at least a few minutes to integrate this transformative energy.
- Finish your meditation by placing the left hand on your chest and saying the words: “Thank you, I love you.”
- Recognize that ultimately you are the love that you feel.
5. Heart Chakra Stones and Crystals
The main color of the heart chakra is green. However, some of the stones which match the energetic frequency of the 4th chakra are pink.
You can learn more about heart chakra gemstones here.
Now, let's a have a look at some of the best stones to balance your heart chakra.
- Typical colors: light pink to vivid pink.
- Helps with: self-love, forgiveness, compassion, relationships, stress and anxiety, clearing energetic blocks, good fortune.
This powerful, pink crystal vibrates with the energy of unconditional love. Rose Quartz is very often called the ‘Heart Stone’, as it stimulates the loving energy of the heart throughout your entire aura.
Rose Quartz is the best crystal for purifying the heart. It is also a universal stone of regeneration and it can be used for both physical and spiritual healing. Its vibration is nourishing, gentle, soothing, and calming.
- Typical colors: green, green-blue, yellow-green.
- Helps with: self-love, relationships, fertility, good luck, stress and anxiety, wealth and prosperity.
This beautiful, green gemstone is very often called the “Stone of Successful Love” as it offers healing energy to your heart chakra, and it restores the balance between partners in a relationship. Emerald has a calming effect on your emotions, and it can be used to heal your heart after an unsuccessful relationship.
- Typical colors: different shades of green.
- Helps with: empathy, unconditional love, electromagnetic pollution, psychic protection, aura cleansing.
It is a mesmerizing, green stone of protection, which is known for absorbing negative energies from your aura. Malachite will guide you to develop a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
Malachite has pleasant stabilizing energy that makes you feel more relaxed and balanced emotionally.
- Typical colors: pink, rose-pink to brown-red, red, gray and yellow.
- Helps with: self-love, relationships, emotional pain, compassion, self-confidence, optimism, focus, concentration.
This beautiful pink stone is also known as the “Stone of Self Love & Unconditional Love”, therefore it is a perfect match for healing your heart chakra. Rhodonite will balance your emotions and protect you from envy or jealousy.
Rhodonite is a wonderful stone to have in your life because it promotes joy, compassion, healing, and balance.
- Typical colors: light green, blue-green.
- Helps with: meditation, empathy, compassion, self-love, mental clarity, relationships, electromagnetic pollution.
Amazonite is outstanding for instilling empathy and compassion. It will help you to become aware that you are not the only one in the world who is dealing with challenges.
Amazonite is also an excellent energy filter. This stone can be extremely helpful to you, particularly if you regularly use a computer, tablet, smartphone, or microwave oven.
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6. Heart Chakra Food
Physical food for higher chakras has a more symbolic meaning. The best type of “food” for your heart chakra would be a life filled with joy, purpose, compassion, acceptance, and love.
The heart chakra is about eating physical food with an open heart by infusing every meal with love.
Our 3 lower chakras serve the following aspects of our body:
- Root chakra looks at the food from the survival point of view
- The sacral chakra is all about the pleasure of eating
- Solar plexus chakra deals with the transformation of food into energy
Heart chakra acts as a bridge between the body (represented by the lower three chakras) and the mind (represented by the 5th, 6th, and 7th chakra). Some of the most important lessons of your heart chakra when it comes to food are:
- Infuse love into your meals by using only the highest quality ingredients (organic, locally grown, and sourced)
- Express gratitude for a meal, especially when it is prepared with love
- Share meals with others
- Eat more plant foods and raw fruits and vegetables (for example, dark leafy greens)
Some of the best green foods which resonate with your heart chakra are:
- Fruits – avocadoes, green grapes, kiwis, pears, green apples, honeydew melons
- Vegetables – Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula), broccoli, celery, bok choy, lettuce, collard greens, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts
- Legumes – Green beans, green peas, edamame
Let The Love In
Balanced heart chakra allows other people to feel at peace when they’re around you because you are full of joy, passion, and your heart is filled with love and faith.
The process of healing your green chakra involves opening and expanding your heart space by letting the energy of love in.
Your heart chakra is your powerful healing center, and the energy of love is considered to be the ultimate healing force. All of the healing methods we talked about in this article are fantastic tools for you to use, but the best starting point on your heart chakra healing journey would be accepting and loving yourself.
You must not forget that your heart center is extremely powerful, and it has immense capacity to heal itself if you surrender yourself to love.
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