The sanskrit word for heart chakra is ANAHATA. The element is air. AIR implies spaciousness and is a result of letting go. It's function is LOVE. By receiving love or offering love - we feel a warmth and s p a c i o u s n e s s in and around the heart area - the front body and the back body right behind the heart.
Other parts of the body that are affected by the heart chakra are the lungs, heart, pericardium (membrane enclosing the heart), arms and hands.
The heart chakra is the fourth chakra of the 7 chakras. It connects the upper chakras to the lower chakras.
For the heart chakra to be balanced there needs to be a balance between receiving and offering. LOVE multiplies when given, but we can easily deplete our heart chakra by giving too much or giving when the energy is depleted and then things get hairy. . . resentment builds, anger rises and we either implode or explode. The result is not very pretty or very loving and it creates tension in the heart area, the shoulders and the neck. Overtime this tension can turn chronic and cause serious health problems. So if we take time to check in with ourselves and tend to our own gardens first we will be better equipped to offer and receive LOVE with openness and spaciousness. Some might feel that it is selfish to put our needs first but if we don't tend to our own garden, it will die.
How can I take better care of my HEART chakra and HEAL myself?
I can first take a step back and check in with myself. Close my eyes and tune into the beating of my heart. Feel it and start to notice how subtle areas surrounding the heart feel. Is there a tightness? Is there a heaviness? I can start to ask myself questions such as "Do I treat myself as well I treat my best friend?", "What is the internal dialogue like?", Do I build myself up or do I tear myself apart?".
AIR is the element of the HEART chakra - AIR is a healing element that nourishes every cell of the body. Without air - our cells will die. The average person doesn't not breath deep enough to properly nourish the body.
HEART breathing exercise.
Breathing deeply can free up tightness in and around the chest. Deep breathing that expands the rib cage can help release emotional tightness and massage the tension away allowing energy to flow more openly through our body.
Sit on a chair with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath in and feel your chest expand in 4 dimensions. Exhale slowly. Inhale again and this time bring the inhale to the tips of your shoulders. Exhale slowly. Do this 10 times. 10 inhales and 10 exhales.