You’ve probably heard of the word “chakra” if you’ve been to yoga classes around town. Or, maybe you’ve heard it perusing the internet or social media. While this word has become somewhat mainstream in the booming industry that is modern yoga, there can still be a lot that’s lost in translation along the way.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word which translates to “wheel” in English. Chakras are thought of like spinning wheels of energy converging in centralized locations all throughout our bodies. Although chakras exist all over the body, the most common chakras we hear of in modern yoga are the seven chakras along the length of the spine.
The 7 Chakras:
- Root Chakra
- Sacral Chakra
- Solar Plexus Chakra
- Heart Chakra
- Throat Chakra
- Third Eye Chakra
- Crown Chakra
Each of the seven chakras come with their own unique kind of energy. Meaning, if the chakra is blocked or imbalanced in some way, then we’ll feel the effects physically, mentally, and emotionally. Each chakra allows energy to flow to different parts of the body depending on where it’s located.
As you can imagine, this makes each chakra pretty dang important. And, I can say this honestly, they are all equal in their degree of importance. Sure, it’s important to always build a strong foundation first. Which is why classes, retreats, and workshops tend to focus on the Root Chakra (the first chakra) initially. But, that doesn’t mean it’s more important than the others. Maintaining balance of all chakras is the ultimate goal.
When a chakra is blocked, then the energy held in that chakra will be withheld from the body, mind, and heart. Let’s keep using the Root Chakra as an example, since it’s the first one. If this chakra is blocked, that means you might feel unstable, undernourished, scattered, ungrounded, and airy.
The energy of the Root Chakra is that of the Earth element. So, when that primary chakra is blocked, then you’ll be missing all that yummy Earth energy. To learn how to unblock your Root Chakra, check out this post.
This post is about unblocking the Heart Chakra, by sharing effective strategies to help you with Heart Chakra healing today.
How To Unblock Your Heart Chakra
There are many different ways to unblock your Heart Chakra. Truthfully, the best first step is simply knowing where your Heart Chakra is. Next, you’ll want to know what signs to look for that might indicate blockage or imbalance. This will help you to know the next best steps in working towards unblocking the space with ease.
What is Heart Chakra
The Heart Chakra is otherwise known as the Anahata Chakra in Sanskrit. This is the fourth chakra, located right at the center of your chest (think the breastbone).
One of my favorite things about the Heart Chakra is that it’s known as a bridge between the human self, and the spiritual self due to its location. The seven chakra run along the base of the spine. Meaning the fourth chakra (the Heart) is right in the middle.
The lower three chakras are known as energies for our human experience, relationships, and sense of self. While the upper three chakras are known as energies for our spiritual experience, connecting to something greater, finding oneness. The Heart Chakra is an energy center sitting in the middle of lower and upper portions, bridging the two together.
The Heart Chakra is associated with the color green (like a deep emerald, rather than an iced green tea). And is thought to be the seat of our ability to feel love, joy, compassion, and forgiveness. The element associated with the Heart Chakra is the Air element.
As you can imagine, if the area is blocked, you’ll struggle to feel the depth of your own inner love, joy, compassion, and/or forgiveness. Rather than moving freely, like the Air element, you might feel a bit more heavy and stuck.
Signs Your Heart Chakra Is Blocked
If your Heart Chakra is blocked then you might be feeling an array of emotions, or displaying certain behaviors of patterns. A blocked heart chakra can result in physical, mental and emotional imbalance.
- Lack of self love
- Reduced joy
- Decreased compassion
- Unable to forgive
- Frequently jealous
- Isolating yourself
- Feel lonely
- Overly defensive
- Unable to trust
- Scared of intimacy or vulnerability
How To Open Your Heart Chakra
Now that you know what your Heart Chakra is, that it’s located at the heart center, and what some of the signs of a blocked fourth chakra are- you can actually work on treating the area with Heart Chakra healing methods.
Backbend Yoga Poses
Backbend yoga poses are otherwise known as “heart openers,” because they’re opening the frontline of the body- which includes a deep opening in the center of the chest. If you know me as a teacher, then you know I love backbend yoga poses, and I teach them in every single class.
There are a wide variety of postures to choose from for absolute beginners, to more advanced shapes. If I had to choose my top three favorite backbend poses they’d be: Camel Pose, Upward Facing Dog, and Wild Thing.
Breathwork is otherwise known as Pranayama in our yoga practice. Think about how good it feels to simply take a deep breath. In fact, close down your eyes right now, and take a full breath in through your nose. Hold it at the top there just for a beat, then release it long and slow through the mouth. Notice a difference?
Yes, deep breaths are a great way to soothe the nervous system. So is Alternate Nostril Breathing, Sama Vritti Breath, or Box Breathing. All of these Pranayama styles can be found on my app for a guided practice.
Opening the heart is no joke, as it can come with a flood of emotions, fears, and vulnerabilities. Sure, using crystals is a little woo-woo. But there’s a lot of people out there who swear by them in their healing practices.
If you’re interested in using crystals in your meditation practice, try rose quartz placed directly on your chest in a laying down position. Or, if you like to sit up, simply hold it in the palm of your hand. For an enhanced meditation experience, add some essential oils, or candles- whatever helps you get into the energy of unconditional love and acceptance.
A daily practice of gratitude is one of the best exercises you can do for your heart. In fact, I love the Five Minute Journal, as it allows a really accessible form of journaling and gratitude daily without taking up a ton of time.
When the Heart Chakra is balanced, you’ll be able to tap into gratitude more easily. Which means that when it’s blocked, you might struggle to find things that you’re grateful for right away. Remember to start small, no matter how simple or silly it may seem- you’re making sure to actually get into the energy of gratitude in order to open the heart.
Repeating Positive Affirmations
The way we speak to ourselves is important. Oftentimes, the way we speak to ourselves is a heck of a lot different than the way we speak to others. If your heart chakra is blocked, then you might notice a lack of self love. This is where positive affirmations come into play.
Start by creating just one positive affirmation that reminds you of how freaking INCREDIBLE you are. Repeat that to yourself three times when you blink your eyes open to start your day. Then get in the habit of repeating it to yourself in your meditation. Perhaps soon you’ll repeat it throughout the day. And then again, three times before you fall asleep.
The purpose of all of these unblocking practices and tools is to get you closer to the feelings of love, joy, compassion, and forgiveness. These feelings are the energy of the heart. And your heart wants to be heard. Trust me.