The Anahata Chakra, also known as the Heart Chakra, is associated with love, tenderness and harmony which opens us up to radical compassion and acceptance for ourselves, others and life as it is in this moment. This provides a calm, connected place in which we can expand our view point take in more information and discern how to engage with life more effectively aligned to our morals and values. What matters to us most? What is important? What do we care about?
By definition, Yoga is skill in action with loving awareness. Focusing on Anahata Chakra and its meaning, asks us to bravely face our own hurt, wounds and resentments. Our compassion begins with the capacity to hold your own pain and suffering with a vast open loving-awareness within your own heart. This path is raw, intimate and honest. It is an inward reflection to discover the deepest truth you can entrust in. As we look and feel within the body, energy and mind…what is between you and feeling free, peaceful and serene right now? Love is what helps us cross the abyss of separateness of the mind and heart, us and other. Hatha Yoga’s objective is to bring together two opposing forces to become one within our own conscious embodiment
It is the abode of the Wind element. Breathe and feel it carry your life force, Prana, which is said to be inherently healing, inspiring and transformative. Carrying the message of how interconnected we all are by this life giving force.
The Hasta Mudra is Vayu Mudra placing the thumb to the index finger. The Bija Mantra for the Wind element in the Anahata is Yam. The colour is said to be a bright, vibrant green, similar to the colour of lush, flourishing, healthy vegetation which radiates the nature of love, both for oneself and for others.
Looking at the sacred geometry of the Yantra. The heart lotus flowers with twelve petals that open you to the purity and spiritual unfoldment that blooms within. Each petal contains a specific Sanskrit letter or seed mantra (Bija mantra) representing different qualities and aspects associated with;
- Compassion (Daya): One petal represents compassion, the ability to empathise with the suffering of others and to offer help and support.
- Joy (Harsa): This petal represents joy, enthusiasm, and the capacity to experience happiness and delight.
- Peace (Shanti): Peace is symbolised by another petal, emphasising inner calm and tranquility.
- Harmony (Sukha): Harmony signifies a state of balance and unity in the heart, fostering harmonious relationships.
- Understanding (Vidya): One petal represents understanding, signifying the ability to empathise and comprehend the perspectives and feelings of others.
- Forgiveness (Kshama): Forgiveness is a quality associated with letting go of grudges and resentment, represented by a petal.
- Purity (Vimala): Purity signifies inner clarity, moral purity, and a clear conscience.
- Love (Prem): This petal represents love, both for oneself and for others. It’s at the core of the Anahata Chakra’s energy.
- Equanimity (Samata): Equanimity signifies a sense of emotional balance and stability.
- Empathy (Sparsha): Empathy represents the ability to connect with others on an emotional level.
- Patience (Dhairya): Patience signifies the capacity to endure difficulties with grace and resilience.
- Courage (Parakrama): The last petal represents courage, the strength to face life’s challenges and to act with an open heart.
Balancing and harmonising these qualities is believed to lead to a sense of love, compassion and inner harmony, both for oneself and in relationships with others. It promotes emotional well-being, empathy and a deep connection with the world. A radical acceptance that leads to contentment opening to pure love which is our nature and the deepest truth we can rely on.
Within the lotus blooming is two Interlocking Triangles. One triangle points upward, representing the masculine energy or Shiva which is the aspect of consciousness, stillness, detachment and the light of transcendence energy. And the other Triangle points downward, representing the feminine energy or Shakti which is the material embodiment of consciousness and creative energy that nurtures, is compassionate and receptivity. The combination of these triangles symbolises the union of opposing forces, principles of balance, and the harmonious integration of masculine and feminine, mind and heart.
At the centre of the Yantra, there is a point known as the Bindu. This represents the heart’s centre and the source of love, compassion, unity, wholeness and inner peace, serenity, and tranquility, even amidst the turbulence of life’s experiences. Like the eye of the storm. The bindu connects you to the divine spark within, the true self or Atman, and that which lights your soul, said to be pure consciousness. As the bindu drops as a result of practice Yoga and meditation we enter a Samadhi state of being fully absorbed in the present moment, this point elevates you beyond the mundane and material aspects of life, connecting you to the soul’s journey toward greater realms of consciousness.
The antelope is often associated with the Anahata Chakra representing it’s gentle nature, grace, sensitivity and a deep sense of peace.
What we will be working with in our asana practice is Vishnu Granthi this is the knot or blockage that impedes the flow of energy around the heart. The Sattvic state opens us to feel the ambition to fulfil one’s hearts desires, a genuine excitement about life and the ability to find joy and meaning in life and relationships. The feeling of a nurturing light that cares, is tender and shines compassion to your hurt and wounds, wholeheartedly open to the connection of sincere gratitude, acceptance and contentment with it all. Feeling motivated by the light of pure love, delight, joy that opens and heals you like balm or salve. We then can express love and compassion through action, such as helping others or engaging in acts of kindness, where the winds carry our curiosity, wonderment, our joy to experience life.
This is ideal, but most of us tend to get stuck in the Pingala Nadi and we feel like a violent raging storm, the Rajasic energy influences our behaviour to act out in jealousy, possessiveness, co-dependency, critical and judgemental thinking that leads to a lack of empathy and resentments that are turbulent, reinforcing the hurt, pain and suffering we feel making us restless within ourselves.
Tamas, on the other hand, represents qualities associated with inertia, lethargy, and darkness influencing the winds to be stagnant, depressive and erosive. We feel that lifeless, motionless and within the heart we experience a lack of trust, sadness, loneliness, and excessive attachment to our grief, hurt, sorrow. We then experience a lack of interest or apathy in forming emotional connections or relationships. A tendency to withdraw from social interactions and relationships. A lack of motivation to express love or compassion through action. Feeling emotionally detached and unable to connect with one’s own feelings or the emotions of others becoming unhealthily ego-centric. And find we are in a state of emotional heaviness, sadness and a lack of enthusiasm for life.
Our practice intention is to balance the Heart Chakra to express love, compassion, and empathy without excessive attachment or restlessness. That we embody the quality of a loving heart that gives and receives love freely without conditions.
- R – Recognise
- A – Allow
- I – Investigate
- N – Nurture