Matters of the heart are often at the core of our emotional world. When we feel hurt by someone, often we say “I’m broken-hearted”, even though physically our heart may be in perfect health.
We speak of the ‘heart chakra’ – or as it’s known in Sanskrit, ‘Anahata’ – as a centre in the body where we can often literally register pain. Healing of the heart is an essential aspect of holistic health, as it has such a vital role to play in our well being and overall vitality. Think of a time when you felt ‘heavy hearted’ – often this coincides with feeling physically depleted, low in energy and unable to enjoy others and the world. However, when we feel ‘light-hearted’, the world becomes a playground, we see beauty in ourselves and others and general day-to-day life is much easier and more enjoyable. The heart chakra can bring about a greater sense of peace, love and wellness.
The role of the heart chakra is to generate love and it is through this centre that we are able to transcend our more ‘earthly’ desires and needs (which are governed by the lower chakras), and open ourselves up to a greater connection to ourselves and all others. We can notice the tangible sensation of this chakra during times of deep emotion, often experiencing a sense of lightness in times of happiness and emotional relief, or a tacit sensation of pain when we go through a loss, or times of sadness.
The heart chakra is our inner temple where the divine Ātmā (soul or self) resides. To realise the self, we must venture deep into this cave of the heart. The link between our heart and our understanding of ‘self’ is evident in even our most basic behaviours – if something belongs to us or relates to us, we spontaneously point to the centre of the chest. We don’t point to the head, the feet or any other part of the body. Such behaviour – common to all people – shows us that we intuitively identify ourselves with the self that exists in the heart chakra.