“Put Your hand On Your Heart And Tell Me…” sang Kylie Minogue in 1989.
I LOVED Kylie when I was a kid. I still LOVE this song now. Why? Well, our heart speaks our truth and I think that when we are children, we know the truth of our heart intimately. As we grow up and attempt ‘to adult’ our heart’s truth can get befuddled, hidden and sometimes totally crushed when we get our heart broken for this first time and decree while listening to sad songs by Dido, like I did when I was 11, that we will ‘NEVER EVER let that happen again!!!!’
Luckily, ancient Eastern esoteric teachings about Chakras (Yoga Philosophy/Anatomy) and Tanden Points (Reiki Philosophy/Anatomy ) can help bring us back in tune with the truth of our hearts if we courageously give our heart some of the love and attention we deserve. 80s pop singers were always singing about unrequited love, which was enough to confuse a young one like myself that we needed love from other people more than love from ourselves FOR ourselves, constructing the myth that we are not enough (you can imagine how much I disagree with that these days).
What is a Chakra?
It’s a term that can get bandied around a yoga class with no real explanation!
Chakra basically means spinning wheel and Tanden roughly translated means vessel. Yogic teaching calls the heart chakra Anahatta, while Reiki refers to the Crimson Palace Tanden.
Whether we are speaking of wheels or vessels, these energy points which wave and swirl at various points on the physical body where there are large junctions or nerve complexes (like the heart), can provide us with nourishing food for thought, for the physical body and spirit in spiritual practices like Yoga and Reiki. Connecting with the physical heart’s energy centre which is found in the centre of the chest in, and around the space where the heart sits in the chest cavity can also impact the esoteric or subtle heart space in our energy field. In fact, the physical and energetic heart are a perfect synergy which feed one another, creating a greater sense of holistic health and well being. For example, some shapes in physical Yoga classes help us to ease into a greater feeling of space around the chest/physical heart (like camel pose). Meditating on the Crimson Palace Tanden Point in Reiki by generating feelings of warmth towards ourselves and others, can conjure up well being for the physical and subtle bodies.
The heart chakra is a one of my favourite chakras, and not just because I enjoy feeling stuff like love and well being. I resonate most with this point on the body because of the powerful release that we can experience when we heal the brokenness or emotional wounds of the heart. Here’s some more heart felt heart chakra trivia….
What Does The Heart Chakra Represent?
Anahatta in the ancient language of Sanskit, means unstruck sound. Its element is air.
The heart chakra is our centre for unconditional love and compassion. The element of Air helps us to dispense our spiritual understanding of these benevolent ways of being.
The Anahatta chakra is representative of a bridge between the lower and upper chakras. Anahatta links the visceral with the Divine, as the chakra vibrations and energies increase as we approach the Crown Chakra.
I experience the heart chakra as being extremely feminine, even though it comprises Masculine and Feminine where Ida and Pingala cross. Anahatta can become under active when we hold on to what we perceive to be our right to stay right about people who may have harmed us.
Healing of this chakra can begin to occur when we show a willingness to forgive those we feel have wronged us. We can manifest nourishment and love for ourselves and others from our Heart Chakra. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot love another without falling into the trap of co-dependency and unhealthy relationships.
The Anahata has twelve petals when depicted by the symbol of the lotus. This number of petals tells us that this Chakra is of a higher vibration than the previous three chakras, for example the Muladhara (Root Chakra) only has four petals. It would be easy to misunderstand that twelve petals are not that many, however each petal itself has its own vortex of energy which is held where the two edges of the petal meet at the stalk, or entire of the lotus. When a chakra is overactive or under active it can be because one of the ‘petals’ may have become dislodged in the energy body due to trauma or stress experienced during one’s life.
The colour green is associated with Anahatta. Green is a colour which traditionally symbolises health, freshness, abundance and compassion ( some info sourced from www.colour-meanings.com).
The actions of our hands are impacted by the heart chakra as they share a meridian line. Our hands carry the truth of our heart.
The Anahatta symbol depicts an antelope. The antelope represents the energy of the heart chakra as we move along on the spiritual path (which for me sometimes feels like one step forward and two steps back!). We can be jumpy like the antelope on the plains when triggered or challenged by our obstacles. Yet when the heart chakra is balanced through our spiritual practice, we are like the valiant and gentle antelope, graceful on its journey. You can unlock this grace by chanting the seed syllable of the chakra which is ‘Yam’, with palms placed over the heart.
Which Yoga Poses Open The Heart Chakra?
So give yourself some love today, helping to heal your heart chakra. You could try some of these shapes on your yoga mat after a gentle warm up:
Upward Facing Dog
Revolved Side Angle
Cat and Cow
OR have a dance around listening to Kylie!
(some information sourced from The Yoga Journal and Vikram Vehdant-Borah)