““Seeking love keeps you from the awareness that you already are it.” – Byron Katie

The forth chakra is all about loveThe Fourth Chakra is also known as the Heart Chakra or the Anahata chakra in Sanskrit. It is located along your spine right in the center of your chest next to your physical heart.

It deals with issues of love, compassion, and belonging. All forms of grief, clinging, and loneliness weakens it. Physically, it supports your heart, lungs, upper torso, shoulders, arms, and hands.

The Fourth Chakra lies directly in the middle position of the seven-chakra ladder with three below and three above. The three lower chakras are sometimes called the body chakras, and the three upper chakras are sometimes called the mind chakras.

The heart chakra is what links body and mind together. It facilitates the balance of emotion with logic and the real with the ideal.

Five Signs Your Fourth Chakra is Weak

1. You are often guarded and closed

Therefore, you never or rarely allow yourself to open up to others and be authentic for fear of being hurt or rejected.

2. You are unable to let a situation rest because it didn’t go your way until you have assigned fault to all you see as responsible. You assign negative motive to everyone whose actions impact you, judging their actions as intentional.

3. In your relationships, you may tend to be clingy and needy, anxious that your partner doesn’t need you as much as you need them.

4. Your expressions of love for another person are conditional.

They depend upon them conforming to your expectations of how they should be. As long as they do, all is well. As soon as they don’t, you get upset or and possibly react with aggressive or passive-aggressive moves to try to manipulate them back into behaving conforming to your expectations. You see a need to try to fix other people and often try to do so.

5. You experience any of the following physical symptoms on a frequent or chronic basis:

  • Heart disorders
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Breast lumps/cysts
  • Circulation problems
  • Tension/pain between the shoulder blades, shoulder, arm or hand issues such as carpal tunnel.

Five Things You Can Do To Strengthen Your Fourth Chakra

1. Reflection

Woman holds her hands in prayer over her heartDo you have Jonah syndrome, or the attitude of “mercy for me, justice for you”? This refers to the story of Jonah, who ran away from his responsibility and ended up being swallowed by a whale.  He prayed for mercy and got a second chance. Then after the people of Tarsus changed their ways and were not destroyed, Jonah was angry at God for not punishing them.

Desire mercy for all, including yourself.

2. Redefinition

Turn an annoyance into a reminder of privilege. For example, maybe you have a messy home that was just cleaned yesterday. Try to see this as a visible sign of how privileged you are to have kids at home who make messes, instead of an annoyance.

Pencil and watercolor image of girl showing where each chakra is located on the bodyOr maybe you are annoyed by a spouse who squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle or leaves the toilet seat up. Next time you get annoyed, catch yourself and see it as a reminder of how privileged you are to have them in your life.

Anything that annoys you can be the trigger for gratitude and love. This is true alchemy, the turning of the base into the precious.

3. Sound Vibration

Intone the “ay” vowel sound using the word “raise” and feel the vibration in your heart chakra as you hold out the “ay” sound. Imagine a bright green light radiating from your heart chakra and sending healing and balancing energy to your lungs, heart, upper torso, arms, and hands.

The word raise also has a meaning related to the heart chakra.  Think of raising your sights beyond outside appearances to the deeper potential within all, including you.

4. Chakra Breath

Do the “Ten/Ten/Ten Breath.”   Inhale slowly and deeply for a count of ten, then hold the breath in for a count of ten and then slowly exhale for a count of ten.

Repeat for as many cycles as you want. This is a balancing breath that helps restore the balance of body and mind.

5. Yoga Asana

Fourth-Chakra-805x1024Perform the “Sliding Doors” yoga asana (see illustration below).

Sit cross-legged on the floor. Press your palms together in front of your chest as shown. Now, with force, extend your arms out, palms facing away like two sliding doors opening from the center. Exhale with force as your arms go out, almost as if you are trying to break a board on each side with the heels of your palms.

Breathe in as you return your palms to the starting position. Begin a rather rapid back and forth motion bringing your palms together and clapping them as you breathe in, and then extending them out and you breathe out. Go for 30-60 seconds at about one cycle per second. If you want to challenge yourself, try going for two to three minutes doing this.

Are you experiencing any of the five signs outlined above? Give one of the exercises or techniques to strengthen your Fourth Chakra a go and let us know how it went!

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Author

John E. Groberg is the creator of Spiral Up Yoga, and the author of the book by the same name, which teaches a simple daily self-care practice for body, mind and soul that is chakra-based and can be done at home by anyone, anywhere in just five minutes. Seven chakras. Seven days. One rule: Do something today for five minutes to strengthen today's chakra. To learn more and see free instructional videos of all 49 asanas taught visit his website.