The heart chakra, also known as the ‘Anahata’, divides the seven chakras of the spiritual body into two halves. The chakras below the Anahata are associated with survival and wellness in the material (physical) realm, whereas, the chakras above Anahata are associated with spirituality and higher consciousness.
The heart chakra is one of the most beautiful chakras of the spiritual body and is said to be the seat of unlimited love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. It is located near the heart, in the center of the chest. In this article, we shall learn all about healing the heart chakra.
The heart chakra is said to be the residence of ‘Atman’ (divine self) or the soul. And our soul is nothing but unlimited love. That’s the reason why the heart chakra is said to be the seat of unlimited love.
Anahata chakra is associated with the air element. However, it’s important to note that here we are not talking about the air which is composed of gases. The ‘air’ element mentioned here refers to the vital energy which flows inside the body.
In the Hindu traditions, it is known as the ‘prana’, whereas in Chinese traditions, it is called ‘chi’. This prana has a tremendous influence on our body and mind. The steady flow of prana through the body ensures a calm and restful mind.
The heart chakra is linked to the Thymus gland of the physical body. The thymus gland is located in the neck region above the heart, and it generates T lymphocytes (white blood cells) that help the immune system to fight off diseases. These white blood cells also fend off the pathogens (microorganisms that cause diseases).
A balanced Anahata or the heart chakra enables us to experience unlimited love and compassion. It allows us to feel compassion not only towards ourselves but also towards other people, and it also allows us to express ourselves freely and with high confidence. It helps us to accomplish our material as well as the spiritual goals in life.
Before we get to the causes of heart chakra blockage and steps to heal, let’s understand what the heart chakra symbolizes.
Understanding the Symbolism of Heart Chakra
Anahata chakra is symbolically shown as a lotus with twelve petals. The color is light blue. It consists of two triangles, one pointing up and the other is pointing downwards. The triangles intersect and form a six-pointed star or a hexagon.
The downward triangle represents the downwards flow of energy of the heart chakra towards the lower three chakras. The downwards flow of energy is dominant when you work towards worldly passions such as earning wealth, fame, and physical health.
Honestly speaking, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing these worldly passions. Your body itself is a material, and its health is directly connected to your mental well-being and vice-versa.
The only thing which one needs to take care of is that these ‘worldly passions’ and material needs should be pursued ‘consciously’.
For example, there is nothing wrong with earning money or fame. When you do it unconsciously, you will give rise to negative ‘vrittis’ (or tendencies) such as lust, jealousy, envy, anxiety, possessiveness, arrogance, discrimination, sadness, despair, etc.
If you operate unconsciously, you will give rise to a feeling of emptiness within you, which will grow bigger with time. You might be able to achieve all the wealth and fame you desire, but you will never be content. You will never be happy.
When you act consciously, you will experience the flow of energy from Anahata to the lower three chakras, which will make you fearless, build high confidence and self-esteem, eliminate doubt and anxiety, and lots more.
Before you open the heart chakra, your lower three chakras should be well balanced as well. You need to first work on the lower chakras before you attempt to work on the Anahata.
If you want to know more about the lower chakras, you can refer to my articles on healing:
The triangle facing upwards represents the upward flow of energy, which becomes dominant when you purse high consciousness and spiritual progress. This energy flow indicates your pursuit of awakening and liberation.
When you pursue higher consciousness, you give rise to ‘vrittis’ such as love, understanding, bliss, clarity, purity, empathy, compassion, unity, peace, harmony, kindness, and forgiveness. These vrittis are shown as the twelve petals of the heart chakra.
The animal associated with the heart chakra is Antelope. Antelope characterizes grace and innocence. At the same time, it is most vigilant and alert to perceived threats. It knows what to do in a particular situation. Therefore, the heart chakra gives the ability to discriminate.
What Causes the Heart Chakra to be Blocked?
Heart of a child is pure, but as we start growing up, we start interacting with all kinds of energies present in this world, and because of that, a lot of changes take place within us.
In this section, we will explore some of the reasons why your heart chakra gets blocked in the first place. In the next section, we will discuss ways to balance your energies and open up the heart chakra.
You Can’t Let Go of the Past
Let me admit. Letting go of the past is not easy. Talking about myself, it took me a very long time to overcome what happened in the past. Clinging onto the past is a clear indication of a blockage in the heart chakra.
We keep dwelling in the past and blame others for our own faults. Living life unconsciously is a direct result of this. Traumatic incidents in life such as the death of a loved one, betrayal by someone you trusted (or loved), physical or mental abuse by people close to us, leave deep negative impressions on our mind.
The problem is that we keep visiting these incidents again and again until they get embedded in our subconscious mind.
Just imagine what would happen if you’re forced to watch a movie you hate over and over again. That’s what we do to ourselves. We keep playing the incidents of the past over and over again in our mind.
You try everything like talking to your friends and family, going to therapies, consulting a mental health professional, but nothing seems to work. That’s because your Anahata is blocked or deficient in energy flow.
I’m not saying that doing things I mentioned above are useless. No.
I highly recommend that you talk to other people or seek whatever help is possible. But at the same time, also pay attention to your heart.
Once you open your heart chakra, you will be in a much better position as you will be able to express yourself much better. Your recovery from the wounds of the past will be much faster.
When You Have Trust Issues
People with blocked heart chakra have serious trust issues. It happens especially if, in the past, they encountered a situation where they were betrayed by someone very close to them.
For example, this could be a friend who turned his or her back on you when you were looking for support. Or a partner who cheated on you.
Even narcissistic parents or family members can, through their bad behavior, cause you to lose trust in them. They snub you when you need them most, and the next thing you know is that your confidence in them is completely destroyed.
However, having trust issues will cause you to turn your back even towards the people who are willing to guide and help you. The fear will cause you to build very strong boundaries, and you may miss out on a lot of good folks out there.
The positive energies will have no way of reaching you, and your personal and spiritual growth will be affected.
When you are Dependent on Others
Dependency of any type gives rise to expectations and desires, and when those expectations are not met, they give rise to negative vrittis such as hatred, anger, anxiety, and depression.
If for your happiness, you are dependent on your environments, such as your colleagues at the workplace, close friends, and family, you will have certain expectations from them. Your relationship with them will be based on how they fulfill your needs.
As an example, if you get angry with your friends or relatives when they don’t wish on your birthday, or you feeling jealous when one of your colleagues gets a promotion or an appraisal over you.
Do you have the heart to congratulate that colleague who got something that you had hoped? In such a situation, if you give rise to negative tendencies like jealousy or hated, the blockage in your heart chakra will only increase.
While its okay to feel bad under such circumstances, but don’t take such incidents to heart. Remember that you have no control over what happens in life. Life does not have any obligation towards you. It’s you who have to go according to what life offers.
Being dependent not only affects your heart chakra, but also the lower chakras such as solar plexus and sacral. It impedes the downward flow of energy from the heart chakra to the lower chakras.
When you Suppress your Feelings and Emotions
Suppressing your feelings and emotions blocks not only your heart chakra but also affects the other chakras of the spiritual body.
You won’t believe this, but it’s much harder to suppress emotions than to talk about them and release them. All this while you have been hard on yourself. It may result in your feeling tense, agitated, anxious, or even depressed.
Another problem is that when you suppress your emotions, people around you get the brunt of it. For example, say your spouse said something about you, which made you feel terrible about yourself.
It’s very typical to be angry or agitated at that moment. But if for some reason you don’t confront your partner about what they said, don’t keep that emotion bottled up inside you. Talk to someone about it. This can be your friend, family, or even a therapist.
Suppressing your feelings and emotions will cause you to outburst in unforeseen moments and on unexpected people.
Have you heard the phrase ‘lion heart’? If you have a lion’s heart, it means that you are not afraid to communicate your true feelings. You are fully receptive. It means you are expressive in your communication. Opening up the heart chakra will give you the lionheart.
When you are Bound by Feelings of Anger, Resentment and Revenge
When feelings of anger and resentment bound you, your heart chakra will not allow the energy to pass through.
If something terrible happens in your life, like if you lose a loved one, or you faced physical and mental abuse at the hands of your spouse or parents, it’s very typical to feel angry and get revenge.
Yes. It is okay to feel that way. The problem is when you harbor these feelings for years altogether. For example, when I lost my father, I was very angry with him for leaving us like that. For about two years, I could not come to terms with it.
If feelings of resentment and revenge consume you, you are doing more harm to yourself then to the other person. Even if you get revenge, you will not experience even an ‘iota’ of happiness.
You are Spending Too Much Time in a Negative Environment
If negative people always surround you, you will unconsciously absorb their negative energy. You may enjoy that very moment but will feel bad later on.
For example, engaging in gossips and talking about people behind their backs creates not only bad karma but also starts a vicious cycle that keeps you trapped in this negative energy. Eventually, you begin radiating out negative vibes, and people don’t feel comfortable around you.
If you are in a relationship where you are always judged and mocked, you need to get rid of all of the negative energy that you absorb.
The reason we can’t get out of a negative environment is because of the imbalance of energy flow in the heart chakra. We fear the idea of being alone and independent. And as a result, we start seeking validation from the wrong people.
If you’re always taking abuse from people (no matter who – family, friends, spouse, or even your children), you will further block your sacral and root chakra. And there will be no possibility of any spiritual development from that point onwards.
When You Experience Fear And Anxiety All the Time
This is something I struggled with for an extended period. In my particular case, it was because I was working in a job that I didn’t like. I hated getting up in the morning and going for work. Moreover, people around me reinforced the idea that this is normal, and this is what life is.
But a point came in my life when I confronted my fears head-on. Since that time, there has been a significant change in my life. I’m much happier, and I’m content. Now I don’t let anybody tell me ‘what is normal’ and ‘what life is’. I live the way I want to, and I experience life in a unique way.
There can be lots of reasons for your anxiety. It could be work pressure, dysfunctional relationships, the pressure to achieve success and fame, and much more.
It’s important to note that most of us unconsciously get influenced by media reports and people around us and believe the reality they project as our own.
When you continuously operate in fear and anxiety, you severely block your lower chakras, including the heart chakra.
Practical Ways of Healing the Heart Chakra
I’m not going to sit here in this comfortable cafe and tell you to renounce the material world and go to caves in the mountains to perform unending ‘sadhana’ (meditation). I don’t believe that you have to torture yourself to open up your heart chakra.
I’m going to tell you some of the practical ways to enhance energy flow through your body. It will not only help in balancing the heart chakra but also affect (positively) the other chakras of the spiritual body.
Learn to Stay in the Present Moment
Your thought is the energy that you generate through your mind. If you create too many thoughts ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, you will always experience stress and anxiety.
Training yourself to stay in the present moment will not allow your mind to waste this precious energy. As a result, you will feel more present and also be more creative and productive in your day to day work.
Take out Time for Activities You Like to do
We are generally so busy in our day to day life that we consciously choose to ignore things we like to do. Some of these activities include painting, singing, dancing, listening to music, etc. You must take out time from your busy schedule to do these activities.
I like listening to music and also dance sometimes. Practicing any form of art helps in releasing the negative energies from the body. They activate your prana and helps in removing blockages from the heart chakra.
Learning to Live with Awareness
Modern lifestyle has virtually turned human beings into robots. We go to work, come back home, eat dinner, watch television, and go back to sleep. The next day again, the same thing repeats, and the cycle continues. We keep living like this without pausing to see what life has to offer us.
The only thing we look forward to is the weekends when we get to spend quality time with family and friends. But how many of us get to spend that quality time? Our mind is working 24×7, we hook on to our smartphones, and we rarely pay attention to what’s happening around us.
Living without awareness is a poor way to live. When we live with awareness, we get rid of our fears, and our heart is full of joy. We manifest fears by either dwelling in the past or the future.
Avoid Negative Behaviors
I know this is easier said than done. But you can learn to consciously change your behavior such that good habits are ingrained in your subconscious mind.
For example, stay away from office politics, avoid people who engage in gossips and say bad things about other people, avoid getting into arguments and blame games, and avoid any activity that lowers your vibrations.
Engaging in negative behaviors may make you feel good for a moment, but you will be hit by guilt later on in your subconscious. The person who talks negatively about other people behind their back will do the same thing to you behind your back.
If you cannot altogether avoid such negative people, at least try and keep your interaction minimum with them. Maintain distance and set firm boundaries. Avoid hanging out with such people after work and speak to them only on a ‘need to’ basis.
Learn to Forgive
Let me explain a little about what I mean by the word forgiveness. For example, let’s say that someone was mentally and physically abusive towards you. So much so that it caused you to lose your mind.
Can you really forgive such a person?
By forgiveness, I don’t mean that you let this person go scot-free for the crime he or she did. No. Such people should face the consequences of their actions as per the law.
Forgiveness means that we don’t spend any kind of negative energy on the incident (the abuse) that took place with you. If we keep repeating the same traumatic thoughts over and over again in our minds and keeping hating this person, we will never be able to forgive this person.
Keeping feelings of hate and resentment will hurt you more than the other person. You will keep reliving the incident and develop psychological issues. Forgiveness works more for us then for the other people. It allows us to heal ourselves.
Also, it takes time to develop forgiveness and that’s complete okay. You will go through a rough patch and experience emotions like anger, frustration, and resentment, before you can actually forgive someone. That is completely normal.
Forgiveness is empowering. It allows us to let go and move on in life. Opening the heart chakra gives us the strength and ability to forgive.
Improve Your Lifestyle
Developing a healthy lifestyle is extremely important for your physical and mental health. If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, your heart chakra will heal much faster.
Some of the ways in which you can improve lifestyle is as follows:
- Eat fresh, healthy, organic, and wholesome food. Avoid unhealthy, junk, and sugary foods.
- Workout every day (you must sweat) and release toxins from the body. Do cardio, strength training, HIIT, or yoga.
- Get good quality sleep.
- Avoid spending too much time working sitting on a chair.
- Avoid watching any type of screens at night before sleeping.
- Spend quality time with family and friends.
- Develop gratitude for life.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation.
- Listen to music.
- Pursue hobbies like sports, drawing, paintings, singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, etc.
Practice Heart Chakra Affirmations
Affirmations are very effective in opening blocked chakras. I practice affirmations every day, especially before bedtime, so that the message passes on to my subconscious mind.
Some of the affirmation for opening the heart chakra are as follows:
- I am worthy to receive love and support.
- I open my heart to receive unconditional love.
- I open my heart to give unconditional love to others.
- I love myself.
- I have the capacity to forgive others.
- I don’t engage in negative behaviors.
- I don’t keep associations with negative people.
- I work to raise my vibrations.
- I have access to all the love in the universe.
- I feel empathy and compassion for others.
- I have unconditional compassion towards myself.
- I don’t live in the past.
- I don’t worry about the future.
- I practice gratitude.
Some ‘Easy to Do’ Yoga Postures for Healing the Heart Chakra
I’m going to list some easy to do yoga postures that will help you to heal the heart chakra. You should practice these posture while on an empty stomach, preferably at least 2 to 3 hours after a meal.
These yoga poses help in relieving stress and stimulate the energy flow in the heart chakra.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Face lying down on the mat.
- Keep your hands close to your chest and press into the floor.
- Inhale and lift the head, chest, and ribs, and position the shoulders away from your ears.
- Hold up to 3 gentle breaths and then slowly exhale and bring your chest and head back to the ground.
- Repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times.
Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)
- Start by placing yourself on your hands and knees. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and knees aligned with the hips.
- Inhale and reverse arch (like a cow) your lower back, and at the same time, raise your head to look upwards.
- Hold this position for three gentle breaths.
- After that, do the reverse, curl your spine (like a cat) such that you get a good lower body stretch.
- Again hold this position for three breaths.
- Repeat the whole exercise 4 to 5 times.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Lie down on your back and bring your feet close to the hips.
- Inhale as you raise your hips and place your hands below the hips with fingers interlaced.
- Hold for about 10 seconds as you take deep breaths.
- Now slowly bring your hips to the ground.
- Repeat the pose 2 to 3 times.
Childs Pose (Balasana)
- Kneel on the floor. Sit on your heels and separate your knees as wide as your hips.
- Now exhale and move your torso down between your chest.
- Let your hands rest on the floor, stretching outwards.
- Stay in this pose for about a minute or two and breathe gently.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Kneel on the floor and bring your hips to the level of your knees.
- Take a deep breath and arch backward, and try to touch your ankles with your hands.
- Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds or so.
Essentials Oils for the Heart Chakra
Essentials oils are used extensively for healing the chakras. You can create an aromatic blend using a diffuser. You can also put a few drops in the streamer and inhale the vapors, or you can perform direct palm inhalations.
Some of the oils that help in healing the heart chakra are as follows:
Practice Heart Chakra Meditation
Meditation is a practice that helps in restoring the energy balance within the chakras. You can get started in the comfort of your home. As a beginner, start by practicing only 10 minutes a day (anytime), and subsequently increase time, as and when you feel the more comfortable.
To get started, wear comfortable clothes, sit in a cross-legged position (or on a chair if you feel uncomfortable sitting on the ground), close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your breathing.
Maintain this state for about 2 to 3 minutes and then slowly bring your awareness to your heart area. Imagine green-colored energy radiating out from the center of your heart towards the petals of the heart chakra and spreading throughout your body.
Your mind will wander away to your thoughts many times during meditation. Don’t worry about it. Whenever that happens, just bring your awareness to the breath.
If you wish to chant a mantra, then the mantra for opening the heart chakra is ‘YAM’. Keep on repeating this mantra (in your mind).
After about 10 minutes or so, gently open your eyes and end your meditation.
For complete information on Meditation, benefits, breathing exercises, how-to’s, and more, check out – The Ultimate Meditation Guide eBook.
Chakra Alignment/Healing Worksheets
If you’re serious about working on your energy body, I have a fantastic resource that can greatly help in your endeavor of clearing your energy blockages. It includes information sheets, alignment worksheets, and chakra affirmations printable.
You can check out the 7 Chakra Healing Worksheet Bundle (With Free Chakra Information Sheets)
When you open your heart chakra, you develop love, empathy, and compassion. It forms the foundation for further spiritual growth. If the heart chakra is blocked, the possibility of opening the higher chakras is low.
You will easily be able to heal your heart chakra if you adopt a positive attitude towards life. Let go of the past, don’t hold hatred and grudges towards people, learn to forgive, and do things that raise your vibrations.
Therefore, the role of the heart is very significant, and it’s crucial to open and heal the heart chakra before you move on to higher chakras of the spiritual body.
If you enjoyed this article, please do share it in your circle. Also, if you have any queries regarding the heart chakra (or anything related chakras and meditation), feel free to leave a comment below.
Take care and have a nice day.