Anahata- love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness

“Love makes the world go round” (Madonna)

“All we need is love” (Beatles)

“Love is the 7th wave” (Sting)

These may be lines from popular songs- but Paul, John, George, Ringo, Gordon and Madge all had a very good point. A point that was made by the Ancient Rishis as they divulged the secrets to balancing the chakras.

It’s only appropriate that we end the year discussing the heart chakra. This energy centre governs compassion, giving, receiving, forgiveness, kindness, unconditional love. It’s what this time of the year is really all about. Without the heart chakra in balance, ie- without unconditional and free love- we experience all sorts of insecurities, jealousies, greed, hatred, desparateness, addictions etc.

The element associated with Anahata is air- pure prana… thus it is the most important chakra in the 7 chakra system. Firstly, it is in the centre. There are 3 chakras above, and 3 below… Air stokes the fire of Manipura, which nourishes the chakras below; it also rises up to the ether – towards inspiration. Without the unconditional ability to give and love, the other chakras don’t get the prana they need to work harmoniously.

Someone who needs to gain wealth or fame in order to feel worthy of being loved (mooladhara)

Someone who falls in love too easily after physical relations or attractions; someone who had addiction issues (swadistana)

Someone who loses their temper- or perhaps has eating disorders to gain attention (manipura)

Someone who can’t communicate their feelings (visshudu)

Someone who has been deprived of love for some reason and harbours hatreds, prejudisms and judgements (ajna)

And if the previous 6 chakras are unbalanced, self realisation and inspiration will not happen (sahasrara).

e.g. greed/materialism (mooladhara), sexuality issues (swadistana); control or eating issues (Manipura) . it can also hinder the development of the higher chakras – communication/ perceptiveness (vishudi); open mindedness / clarity of thought (ajna) and inspiration.

Answer these questions to ascertain the openness and health of your heart chakra.

Which of these sentences decribes you:

  1. I am very busy so only really consider helping someone out/ doing a favour if they’ve helped me. Sometimes, i don’t have time to help them out unfortunately. I don’t give to charity.
  2. If i help out, or give to someone, i don’t expect anything in return. I give to charities i believe in
  3. i find i give and give, and when i need a favour from somebody, i don’t get anything in return. I find this hurtful. I give to charities for social reasons or to be recognised.


  1. i experience envy of people who are more successful, happier, in better situations than i am
  2. i don’t seem to harbour jealousy- if someone has succeeded, i am happy for them
  3. i get a bit resentful that good things always happen to other people. I tell them i’m happy for them, but wish it could be me


  1. i find it hard to give myself completely to a partner. I’ve been hurt before so tread carefully
  2. My relationships are stable and built on trust and unconditional love. If i do something for someone, i don’t expect anything in return. This doesn’t mean i am walked all over.. I trust my generosity of heart impacts those around me.
  3. I give everything i have in a relationship, yet often am taken for granted.

In the above scenarios, we see (1) closed heart chakra; (2) open heart chakra (3) chakra too open- will probably close at some point if love is not returned repeatedly.

if you answered mostly:

(1) There is a chance you are protecting your heart from getting broken.You may have given too much in the past to someone who did not apreciate you. This is such a common scenario today- so many people’s hearts have closed due to being hurt- it then becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. You don’t want to put yourself in the position of giving if you feel the recipient of your kindness is going to take it for granted. You depriving them of love closes their heart… and the cycle continues. You don’t forgive or forget

(2) You are satisfied with your lot. Whether it’s a little or a lot, you’re happy- thus are not jealous of others. You are in a perfect position to help, give or love at great capacity. You thrive on sharing. Your relationships are totally fulfilling and based totally on trust and equality. You don’t count favours, however, you do find odds are those who are close to you treat you with great consideration. You forgive and forget

Be careful as you draw needy people to you.. they want what you are able to give so freely, yet may not be there for you in your own times of need. Whilst you do give unconditionally, your energy can be drained.

(3) You feel that in order to be loved, you have to give, give, give. The term, “wear your heart upon your sleeve” applied to you. You would share your meal, give someone money if they needed it, lend what you own, you’d help them move houses, you say yes, yes, yes… but you find it hard to understand why people take from you and not give you in return. You fall in love and get hurt regularly. You forgive, but you don’t really forget. This is a difficult, sensitive situation- because you are doing the right thing by giving… but there is a reason why you don’t feel satisfied… your giving is conditional. You may want recognition, thanks, the money back, someone to help you when you need it… but most of all- you want to be loved. Keep on giving it- but don’t be foolish… and drop the expectations.. soon enough you will be respected and apreciated.

A heart opening practice in yoga would involve plenty of cleansing pranayama (focus on breathing, heart and lungs), backbends for those with closed hearts, and more forward bends for those who are too open. but the steps to opening your heart this festive season are:

  • forgive at least one person, if not everyone who you believe has crossed you.
  • donate to a charity- even if it’s your old clothes and household goods to the homeless shelter
  • visit an ill friend/ relative
  • look after a friend’s baby/ child so they can get some rest
  • thank family, friends and colleagues around you for their friendship and support this year.
  • do any or all of the above without any expectations of gratitude or gifts in return.

Join Amanda for the 7 chakra project- held from boxing day thru to New Year’s Eve… The week includes philosophy, psychology and deep asana practice to open and balance chakras. . Click here for more info.