By Jennifer Kelleher
June is the height of heart season, which is why our focus at Ocean Bliss Yoga Studio this month is Anahata, or the Heart Chakra. Have you ever heard of the chakras? In today’s article, we will briefly learn what chakras are, why they matter, and we will specifically dive into Anahata.
Just as the universe is made of spinning wheels of energy (picture the Milky Way Galaxy), we, too, manifest from 12 wheel-like energy centers called chakras. Chakras are energy hubs in and around the physical body that link to specific areas of consciousness and directly affect our physical, emotional, and mental states. When the chakras are balanced and functioning properly, we experience clarity, flow, and expansion in our lives and are equipped to handle difficulties, should they arise, with calm and grace.
The chakra system, or energetic body, is the foundation of our being. By understanding the chakras, we can trace any symptoms (physical, mental, or emotional) back to specific energy centers, which can, in turn, inform and encourage our healing process. For example, if I am experiencing issues with the organs of elimination, feelings of not belonging, insecurities, and/ or mental resistance, I know that I have to work with Muladhara, or the Root Chakra. In this case, I would do grounding activities, such as walking barefoot on the Earth and gardening. I would choose movement that helps me to connect with my physical body, such as yoga, Pilates, or dance. I would incorporate root vegetables into my diet, and I would wear and surround myself with deep reds, browns, and burnt oranges.
Anahata, or the Heart Chakra, is the fourth chakra and it is located in the center of the chest. Its corresponding color is green, its seed sound is “yam,” and its symbol looks like a flower with 12 petals and two overlapping triangles (one right side up and one inverted) in the center to represent the dualities of like and dislike.
I understand Anahata to be the place in the body where Heaven meets Earth. It is a sacred room in our temple (body). Visiting the chapel of the heart by simply placing our attention in that part of the body reminds us that there is only one of us here and we are it. All of the people, animals, plants– all of nature– are one in the same.
Working with the Heart Chakra helps us to find kindness, compassion, understanding, and empathy for ourselves and others. The awareness that we are all one reminds the mind that there is nothing we lack. We are abundant by nature, and everything we need is attainable. Centered in the heart, we become more generous, patient, and gentle. We realize that what we do to others, we do to ourselves, and what we do to ourselves, we do to others. The interconnection is unbreakable.
Some signs of an imbalanced Heart Chakra include loneliness, feeling unlovable, depression, fear of intimacy, jealousy, selfishness, possessiveness, clinging, smothering, codependency, being judgmental, and defensiveness. If you experience any of these symptoms, I invite you to place your attention in the space of your heart and meditate with the following mantra: “I am whole and I am healed. I am abundant.” You can also wear and surround yourself with the color green, eat green foods, practice heart opening yoga poses, spend time in nature, chant the seed sound “yam,” use heart opening crystals (like jade, emerald, or amazonite), use heart opening essential oils (like rose, jasmine, or lavender), and/or listen to 528 hz.
We invite you to join Helen Kilgallen at Ocean Bliss Yoga this Sunday, June 11 at 11 a.m. for a Restorative Yoga Workshop with Essential Oils. Sign up at oceanblissyoga.net