Main image courtesy of Yogapedia.
Chakras are specific energy points in your body that are supposed to stay open, aligned, and unblocked in order for you to feel the emotional, physical, and psychological benefits. They are an ancient concept that originated in India and are an integral part of Hindu, Buddhist, and other eastern beliefs. Although they’ve recently reemerged in popularity, they date back to ancient texts such as the Vedas, or around 1500 to 1000 BC. Translated from Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel.”
Some sources say that there are a whopping 114 chakras, but the main seven are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root chakras.
Your heart chakra is your fourth chakra and is located right at the center of your spine at heart level. In Sanskrit, it’s known as anahata, which roughly translates to “unhurt.” The heart chakra is associated with the element air, which is open and free-flowing, just as the heart chakra should be. It corresponds to the color green and emotions such as love and joy.
The heart chakra affects the heart, lungs, chest, arms and hands. A blocked heart chakra can lead to high or low blood pressure, bronchitis, and other respiratory or circulatory issues. It can make you feel jealous, lonely, isolated, and overly defensive.
When your heart chakra is unblocked, you’ll feel open and receptive to the love of others around you. You’ll feel compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.
You can unblock your heart chakra through essential oils, crystals, meditation, and of course, affirmations.
Rose, lavender, sandalwood, and frankincense oils can help open up your heart chakra. You can add them to your baths or even apply them directly to your skin. You can dilute essential oils with carrier oils such as olive or jojoba oil to ensure that your skin isn’t irritated by the pure essential oils.
Rose quartz is one of the best crystals for your heart chakra. It can help you find peace and compassion during your most difficult times, such as when you’re going through a divorce or dealing with the loss of a loved one. Other crystals such as jade and malachite can also help unblock your heart chakra.
To maximize the potential of these crystals, you can wear them as a part of your jewelry, put them on a side table by where you sleep, keep them under your pillow, or hold the stones in your hands during healing or meditation sessions.
Meditation is an incredible way to get more in touch with yourself and your emotions. There are plenty of guided meditation apps, podcasts, and online resources that you can utilize to jumpstart your meditation practice.
Be patient with yourself, and understand that it takes a lot of time, patience, effort, and dedication to really master the art of meditation. Clearing your mind can be especially difficult when you find your thoughts drifting or are unable to focus. Don’t worry — with practice, you’ll be a seasoned meditator before you know it!
Affirmations are used to increase positive thinking, confidence, and self-esteem. They remind you of your worth and value and speak into existence the wonderful traits that you exhibit. You can write down your affirmations in a journal, or on a device such as your phone or laptop, in order to give yourself a visual of what you’re doing.
Before you start applying the concept of chakras to your life, take the time to understand their origin and significance. Chakras have played a major role in so many eastern philosophies and religions, and they continue to do so even today. These ideas have been passed down and practiced for generations. The most important thing to remember is to be respectful. There are many experts out there that you can reach out to in order to learn more about these philosophies, their histories, and how you can apply them to your own life without culturally appropriating them.
No matter how much you learn about chakras, be sure that you're not drowning out the voices of other communities and leaders who have been practicing these methodologies for years. Always take the time to step back and listen, and have an open mind. You need to accept and value the cultures that these ideas come from before you can truly embrace them.
Here are some affirmations that can help open up your heart chakra:
Balancing your heart chakra is about leading your life with love, compassion, and gratitude. Affirmations can take time and commitment to work, but you’ll see the results and reap the benefits!