The fourth chakra also referred to as the heart chakra, it is located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system. The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists.
Through Yoga, we practice the art of letting go, nonviolence in thought word and deed (Ahimsa) non-judgement and to practise love and forgiveness so that you can continue to move forward. When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, quick to forgive, and have a stronger acceptance of others as well as yourself. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
Choose to make Choices
Some people choose to hold on to the past and live in the place of grievances and negativity. We’ve all been there at some point in our life. Throughout life, we can be met with situations where someone may try to hurt you. The art of taking back control of your feelings and not holding onto negative energy is through choice. You have the power to choose what to do with that hurt. Hold onto it and let it eat you up and make you feel sick, sad and upset. Or release it so that you are freeing up space in your heart to love yourself and others freely and without condition. If you choose to hold on and seek revenge and inflict pain back, that is not living from a place of Anahata. Inflicting pain on others is coming from a place of fear, ignorance or hatred, all of which represent a closed heart chakra.
Holding onto hurt harbors negative feelings and cuts you off from opportunities to love and serve. Letting go is as easy as making a choice. Your mind and your ego may tell you otherwise but it’s as simple as choosing to let go and move on.
All you need is Love, Empathy, and Compassion!
There is another famous phrase, “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” That’s not always easy to physically do. However, you are able to do this emotionally and you are able to do this through the cultivation of empathy and compassion. In practising empathy and compassion it enables you to practise removing the ego. By removing ego it enables you to not attack through being defensive and takes you away from yourself and self-pity and places compassion onto the other person.
Give (unconditionally) to Receive (unconditionally) – Practice an Attitude of Gratitude
We all feel happier when we are giving gifts to the ones we love and seeing joy light up on their faces, that warm sense we feel is our heart chakra flowing energy freely. Author and motivational speaker, Leo Buscaglia, used to teach that we should give and receive 12 hugs a day for optimal health. So give hugs and kisses. Other ways you can give love:
- Smile at everyone you see daily, even if you don’t feel like smiling. It’s contagious.
- Forgive and move on. Life is too short to hold grudges.
- Give friends, family and co-workers positive affirmations and feedback.
- Try to go one day a week without criticizing anyone or anything, including yourself.
Take every opportunity you can to foster love and loving feelings. Love is a currency and whatever you give will come back to you. Also, practice gratitude, give thanks. Give thanks for the food on your table, for when someone stops to let you cross the road, to thanking and acknowledging when your partner puts the bins out. Thanking for the small things in life enables thanks to become your norm and in doing so you recognise that the small things are actually the big things. Give unconditional thanks for all experiences and lessons that come into your life. In doing so you are learning and growing and allowing yourself to move forward.
Learn to love, appreciate and approve of yourself, in doing so, you will find it easier to love others and to always follow the path of gentleness, and love.
*reference and thanks to http://www.chopra.com/