Exploring The Chakras Part 4: The Heart

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Our journey through the chakras continues! We’ve already learned about the root, the sacral, and the solar plexus chakras, and played with the unwinding exercise. Many of you have been following along, and I greatly appreciate all the wonderful feedback you’ve shared about your experiences with unwinding your energy centers. Today, we jump up to the heart chakra, the fourth, which lies in the center of the chest. You’ll remember that the first three chakras are known as the “material” chakras, as they are concerned with things of matter and our physical world. And we will soon go over the higher three chakras, which are associated with things of the spiritual world. This arrangement is one of the reasons why the heart chakra is so important- it forms the bridge between the material and spiritual. The fourth chakra is known as Anahata in Sanskrit, which loosely translates to “unstruck”, the concept of being unhurt or unbroken. And this beautiful notion is a great thing to keep in mind while working with your heart.

The heart center is responsible for regulating emotional love, empathy, compassion, and dissipating feelings like anger and jealousy. When the heart chakra is balanced, you will feel patient, caring, forgiving, and have a strong sense of empathy for not only others, but also yourself. You will be able to fully tap into the vibration of being emotionally “unhurt” and resilient with ease. However, if you are experiencing a blockage or imbalance of the heart chakra, you may feel easily jealous, controlling, suspicious, possessive, emotionally shut down, and have a hard time letting go of grudges.

When we look at our heart chakra, we see these things:

  • Color: emerald green or blushing pink
  • Physical associations: heart and circulatory system, ribs, diaphragm, breasts, thymus gland, lungs, shoulders, arms, and hands
  • Emotional associations: love, jealousy, hatred, grief, inability to forgive, loneliness, self-centeredness, compassion, hope, commitment, ability to heal self and others
  • Sense: touch
  • Mantra: YAM
  • Element: air

Spiritual teacher and author, Caroline Myss, notes that every chakra contains its own divine wisdom. For the heart chakra, the sacred truth is “love is Divine power”, meaning that emotional energy is the basis of all that we do, as it motivates every aspect of our being- mind, body, and spirit.

In our modern culture, we often talk about the struggle between our head and our heart, and the heart is seen as the place of fantasy (as opposed to reality) that is bidding us ever onward into a place of joy and freedom. However, tapping into our hearts doesn’t make us naïve. Quite the contrary! Perhaps you know someone who seems to live a “heart-centered” life, choosing to see the beauty, meaning, and love in everything. This doesn’t mean they are irrational or “out of touch”- it simply denotes a person who has balance in all of their chakras, and places value on things like connection, relationships, and being of service. This is the sacred calling of the fourth chakra.

Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world. – Pema Chodron

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From the perspective of the Munay-Ki, the archetype that rules over our heart chakra is the eagle, who spreads her wings wide and soars in the current of clarity. The eagle invites us to live with compassion for ourselves and others, from our hearts in pure connection to Spirit, and see the world from a higher place. This archetype is all about accessing the "place of our becoming" and spreading our wings to fly towards that sacred place. The promise of this ancient eagle is freedom!

If you have been following along with the chakra unwinding exercises, you may have noticed some things while working on your heart. Here are a few of your responses:

“Clearing my heart chakra last night I felt like a transparent green tube popped up out of that chakra once unwound. I asked all beliefs and thoughts that didn't serve me to evacuate the tube and for loving, healthy thoughts that serve my highest good to fill the tube. Then I re-wound the chakra and it felt like the tube went back in.”

“Last week I again experienced the feeling of my hand going just under the surface of water as I unwound and wound the heart chakra!  Very interesting!”

“I felt a slower unwinding and much faster winding back up. I was able to stay in open state for several minutes, and felt sensations in my throat and behind my nose. I felt a velvety river flowing out. I envisioned attachment and grasping getting off the carousel…gratitude, devotion, and confidence in my open heart growing. I saw blue circles of light with my eyes closed.”

“As I unwound, I felt my chest open up.  I felt as if I were at the center of the universe and all the star stuff was spinning around me.  In the stillness, I waited with the question “who am i?”  To receive the answer, I felt that I needed to unwind some more.  As I did, the spinning stopped and there was only white light.  In this space, there were no questions.  Eventually, I felt a tug within to signal that it was time to spin clockwise again and bring me back into my human-ness.  As I write this, the vast sense of myself still lingers…”

“As soon as I started unwinding my heart chakra, I started yawning repeatedly, so I take that as a sign that I was releasing energy. As soon as the yawns stopped, I knew I had reached a stillpoint. I rested there for a few minutes, and noticed that there was a moment of total weightlessness- like all my muscles relaxed and I was floating. I also felt that the boundaries between myself and others momentarily blurred, like the veil of separation got a little thinner. Then suddenly, I started yawning again, and knew it was time to wind back up. Afterwards, I felt like I could breathe (and smile) a little easier!”

Sound like an interesting experiment? I invite you to read about the unwinding exercise, and try it on yourself this week. You can also join our newsletter to get reminders and updates to stay on track. Come back next time, when we explore the throat chakra!