The Heart Chakra

May 11, 2009

HeartchakraThe Sanskrit name is Anahata, meaning ‘unhurt’, ‘unstruck’ or ‘unbeaten’ a name which implies that despite the fact there may be pain in our heart, beneath this there still remains wholeness, compassion and love without limits. It is the colour green – nature’s colour of new energy and revitalisation – but is also associated with the healing colour pink.

The element associated with this chakra is air – air is vital to our being, and energises us, just like love. It is also associated with the sense of touch, touch being a necessary part of nurturing.

It is located in the area of the sternum or breastbone – the heart, the upper chest and upper back – and governs the heart, the thymus, circulation, breasts, lungs, ribcage, diaphragm, oesophagus, lymph glands, shoulders, arms and hands.

The developmental age is 12-15 years, an age where we are particularly tender and vulnerable, open to experience, passionate about causes, creative – and often experiencing first love. To develop maturity and self-assurance as an adult, we need to be offered a balance between support and sufficient freedom to explore and grow; and we need to be accepted, honoured and recognised by the parent of the opposite sex (or an appropriate substitute). Our ‘wounded child’ resides in the heart chakra – all our childhood wounds and the damage done to the lower chakras ultimately end up residing here. If we suffer from rejection, abandonment, loss, shaming, constant criticism, betrayal or conditional love; are physically, sexually or emotionally abused; are brought up in a loveless, cold environment; or suffer from unacknowledged grief, including that of our parents, then this may result in recurring heart chakra problems throughout life. Also worth noting here is the fact that the educational system in many of our societies, with its over-emphasis on intellectual and academic knowledge, can stifle creativity (which stems from love) in these crucial years of growth, repressing our creative development and our ability to love in the process – love is the source of all our power so to block love is to essentially block everything. Add to this the fact that most of us have experienced pain connected to love at some point in our lives, and it is clear that heart chakra blocks are a serious issue in our society.

The heart chakra is the central point of the chakra system, at the core of our spirit. It is the balancing point, integrating the world of matter represented by the first three chakras and the world of spirit, represented by the upper three. The health of this chakra reflects the quality and power of love in our life and is essential for emotional empowerment. It is also vital in finding balance and interconnection between love of self and love of others, and in ensuring that you ‘follow your heart’, based upon your higher self rather than the unfulfilled emotions and desires of the ego.

It is affected by thoughts and feelings about relationships, love, acceptance and forgiveness of others, and our unique life purpose.

If your heart chakra is balanced and clean, you will have no problems following your heart – your life purpose will become crystal clear as you express the energy of love. You will have a commitment to truth, inner transformation and growth, and a calling to be of service to others. You are able to have a positive relationship and are willing to wait for the right partner. You are non-judgemental and accept people you meet for who they are whilst avoiding being drawn into their ‘dramas’ – you also love in a sincere way without ego and allow others the freedom to be themselves. You give of yourself freely and openly without expecting anything in return – you love for the sheer joy of loving, and want to nurture others in a positive way. You recognise the beauty in everything and everyone while overlooking weaknesses and flaws. You are generous, sensitive, empathic, compassionate, kind, and altruistic. You are also friendly, outgoing, tolerant and humanitarian – you are likely to be involved in social causes. You will also be peaceful and balanced and will be filled with joy, unity, laughter and love.

However if this chakra is blocked (underactive) then we may suffer from the following:

Situational problems: unfulfilling, abusive relationships; doing something or being with someone when your heart is not really in it; lacking clarity and direction in your life i.e. not following your heart; alcohol abuse; commitment issues – avoiding intimacy or running away from potentially successful relationships, and ultimately sabotaging them so that others reject you, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Psychological/emotional problems: distorted emotions; inability to forgive, resentment, paralysed by past hurts, lack of empathy; cold, critical, suspicious, defensive, judgemental, intolerant of self and others, paranoid; feeling sorry for self, lack of self-discipline, indecisive, afraid to ‘let go’,  fear of freedom; shy, lonely, isolated, anti-social, withdrawn; feeling unworthy of love, terrified of rejection, needing constant reassurance.

Physical problems: heart disease, blocked arteries; shallow breathing, asthma, bronchial difficulties, pneumonia; lung and breast cancers; chest pain; upper back and shoulder pain; fatigue; depression; immune system deficiency; high blood pressure.

If this chakra is too open (overactive), you may be prone to poor boundaries, co-dependency, possessiveness and jealousy, resulting in your partner feeling ‘suffocated’ by you. You may become too empathic, easily picking up on the anger or depression of others, leaving you at the mercy of the moods and feelings of those around you which can be physically and psychically draining. You may also be moody, melodramatic or manic-depressive, be overly critical and demanding, and use money or sex to control others. An overactive chakra can also result in you withholding love to get the desired behaviour from others – “if you loved me you would/wouldn’t”  – or using conditional love – ‘I’ll only love you if…”. Your love relationships are egocentric, based on selfish reasons rather than the well-being of your partner.

Awakening your heart chakra is one of the most important steps you will take on your soul journey and is central to the ‘Empathic Guidance’ ethos. When your heart chakra is open, you also enhance your intuition and empathy, increasing your receptiveness to the gifts of the universe. You can heal  old emotional wounds and learn how to accept your authentic self with love,  freeing you to rise to your highest inner level, fulfil your true life purpose and feel compassion for all living things. Indeed, the most powerful way to open, energise and balance all of the chakras – not just the heart – is to love ourselves and others. Love is the greatest healer and when it is truly energised, the heart chakra radiates warm healing energy – and fills you with the blissful peace which arises from true inner simplicity.


Tomorrow – the throat chakra.



  1. Nice post…can you give some techniques to activate the anahatha chakra

  2. Thanks, Shankar. I’ll be writing some blogs on techniques to clear and balance all your chakras in the near future.

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