Chakras Demystified: Anahata – The 4th Chakra

The fourth chakra, anahata, is all heart. It is all about you. Writing your future – your way.

The fourth chakra, Anahata, is all heart. It is all about you. Writing your future – your way.

Create your life with your heart as the driver. Choose consistently to make decisions that you are passionate about. Having heart is about stepping outside what feels stifling, constraining to your nature. Anahata is non-boring and instead is “doing aliveness.”

Anahata: The Fourth Chakra

As I set out to write these articles on chakras, my objective was to provide a tapestry of information based on my experience, as well as incorporating the experiences of others and historical perspective. I could talk about what everyone else on the web speaks. That anahata is associated with the colors, green, pink, or red. That the organs involved are heart and thymus. Explain how this area has a physiological command over immune function. But, so what? That doesn’t help you comprehend or connect viscerally with how to apply this knowledge. I am going to share about what is relevant in my own life. How to actually use anahata.

The definition of anahata is “unhurt, unstruck, or unsound.” This is a bizarre definition to link to the heart. Who could possibly have an unhurt, unstruck, or unsound heart? Well, face it, life happens. Even the most diligent monks who devote their existence to spreading messages of hope and mindfulness have stress and pains. Tell me the Dalai Lama doesn’t experience feelings of hurt. That is unrealistic.

To think that my heart is or should feel unstruck or unhurt leads my mind to try to fix something. But that is not what is needed. The nature of a human is not something that needs to be fixed. We are not machines. We live, viscerally.

Anahata in Real Life

I’m sitting here connected to unavoidable heartfelt feelings. My phone is buzzing like bhramari receiving and sending texts to my dearheart friend who faces the toughest decision of his life. I am hunting around inside myself in search of how to provide you the best articles. What comes through is to talk about these chakras in a way that I am connecting to with my own heart, in this moment.

I sit, think, and feel around for clarity. This level of connection is elusive, sometimes strong, and sometimes subtle. Sometimes I am locked inside intellect and disconnected to feelings. I struggle to find words describing what I feel. Partially because I was not taught about what feelings are or how to manage them. I was taught to be quiet, sit still, and listen. I learned how to turn off my heart and seek love in intellect and accomplishment.

I recently realized I was trying to intellectualize love. Making decisions that “felt right” did not happen because I made cautious, calculated decisions. That is, until two years ago when a major life event severed my conditioned wiring and blew apart the dam around my heart. My life practice now is about making the journey from my analytical mind into feelings.

As someone who thrives with organization, structure, and logic, my experience of feelings is that they elicit the opposite. Ugh. Sometimes they are so messy and challenging to understand. Thus, using anahata is ultimately about making the decision to reconnect into vulnerability and allowing the self to feel sincere. Using anahata means being a leader and stepping away from norms. Living with integrity to your own wants, needs and desires. Unbridling curiosity and passion to do what is wise for you.

chakras, anahata, heart chakra, how to use chakras, understanding chakras

How to Access Your Heart and Make Decisions

This exercise below will help you rein in loose thoughts and feelings about goals or desires. It will help you gain clarity on how to move forward. For me, this experience is both exciting and bizarre. It helps me access my emotions in a way that I can manage and feel at ease doing so with privacy. Learning this skill helped me quit a job, create a yoga studio, build deeper relationships, heal injuries, frame difficult conversations, and speak on my own behalf.

This breath focus is on the holding of the breath. If you are pregnant or have heart conditions, only hold your breath for a few brief seconds. Govern your needs.

Basic set up:

  1. Grab a pen and paper.
  2. Be in a quiet environment.
  3. Be in a comfortable position. Still.
  4. Bring hands on heart.
  5. Inhale. Feel your ribs expand.
  6. Pause. Hold your breath.
  7. Be still. Heart is muscle. Feel your heart pumping.
  8. Exhale.


  1. Prepare to write down questions, insights, and answers. There is a warm up period with accessing heart wisdom. Be patient and listen. Refocus as necessary. Repeat as necessary. Enjoy this process. It can make life much easier and rewarding.
  2. Pick a current life decision you need to make. Examples could be whether or not to take a new job or how to talk with a partner about something difficult. Choose one now. Set it in front of you. Bring your hands on your heart.
  3. Take a deep breath in and feel the connection between your hands and ribcage. Pause. Hold your breath. Feel your heart. Ask it your question. Exhale.
  4. Take deep breaths and continue to dialogue with your heart. Write down what comes through.

Experiment daily with heart dialogue. What you experience can be thrilling and clarifying. Organize your emotions to make decisions that bring peace of mind. I like that. That is smart!

Read about the other chakras:

Chakras Demystified: Sahasrara – The 7th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Ajna – The 6th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Vishudda – The 5th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Manipura – The 3rd Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Swadhisthana – The 2nd Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Muladhara – The 1st Chakra

Look for future “Chakras Demystified” articles as we work our way through each of the seven chakras. If you have any questions about anahata, please post to the comments below.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.