Anahata the heart chakra sits right at the halfway mark of the chakra highway, it’s the meeting point between the lower and upper chakras. It represents the balance of opposites of our terrestrial nature and our spiritual nature. Balance is a very important concept in yoga and in chakra yoga we are trying to avoid the extremes of excessive prana or deficient prana at each of the chakras so that the whole system works and flows with ease.
The heart chakra is the centre of connection and compassion. It’s from the heart space that we relate to other sentient beings, to nature and to the cosmos. It represents our innate sense of compassion and unconditional love. This is not romantic love which is largely conditional, the love described here is universal and describes our pure essence.
From a yogic point of view, we are all loving and compassionate by nature. Any action to the contrary is a result of circumstance and when we do not act according to our true nature, it creates discord in our consciousness.
It is not uncommon however to have excessive prana at the heart chakra. This individual often falls into the victim and rescuer archetype. These people, often women but not always, are forever finding lost souls to nurture and ‘fix’. It can manifest as a type of maternal love where the rescuer feels the need to smother the victim with inappropriate amounts of care. This can end up being suffocating to the lost soul and may send them running a mile! And so the rescuer, often ends up feeling hurt and victimised themselves.
To have a balanced heart chakra is to understand that every adult is responsible for their own happiness so it’s not the role of anyone to make others happy. Our only role is to be compassionate and kind, understanding that we cannot control other people’s emotional states. When Anahata is balanced, we are able to understand the motivations of others and we do not judge them, instead we have compassion for the suffering of all sentient beings.
On the other hand, a deficient Anahata individual is unable to have any compassion for others. These people can be cruel to animals, to children, and to the vulnerable. They have no empathy for anybody, they can be hateful and violent. Usually they haven’t had much nurturing themselves and so I haven’t learnt how to connect and how to care for others. Their hearts are hard and protected making sure that no one is able to hurt them again.
For thousands of years Yoga has guided people to deeply understand themselves and others, so that we can all be more mindful and conscious in our lives, creating more peace and harmony in the world. The Chakra system is a very useful roadmap to guide us in that endeavour.