“One of the tasks of the heart chakra is to move into a state of balance with all around us, letting our own heart beat in unison with the heartbeat of the web of life, through which we are intricately connected. We then have the balance of the Universe to assist and guide us in all we do.” The Sevenfold Journey, Anodea Judith and Selene Vega
The Seat of Love – the Fourth Chakra
Chakra flair color: Green
Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.
While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.
Anahata– Heart Chakra
Fouth Chakra – Anahata – “Unstruck”
Our journey along the Rainbow Bridge is progressing so quickly – already we are at the Fourth Chakra. Bridging the three lower chakras of Manifestation and the three upper chakras of Liberation, this is the Gateway, the Threshold, the Place in the Middle. Here the Manifesting current descending from above and the Liberating current arising from below combine in perfect equilibrium, bringing forth a profound presence and deep love for ourselves and all beings.
“When in balance, we enter a state of grace.” ~Judith, Vega
The color of the fourth chakra is vibrant green. “Like the green, glowing plants, which push toward the heavens from their roots in the earth, we, too, reach outward in two directions – anchoring the manifesting current deep in our bodies and expanding the liberating current as we reach beyond ourselves.” (Judith)
Here is the home of love, compassion, and devotion, where we find balance in the giving and receiving, in reaching out and taking in. Additionally, the fourth chakra is the domain of self-love, intimacy, and relationship, and the seat of grief. It relates in the body to our heart and lungs, upper chest and upper back. The related element is air, which expands, caresses and energizes. Like water, air fills the space that is available to it – but is lighter and gentler. Similarly, the principle emotion of the fourth chakra – love – also expands and energizes us.
“Love is the expansive state of spirit, the transcendence of boundaries and limitations, the interconnectedness and meeting point. Fueled by the fires of passion and will below [second and third chakras], it is an uplifting energy, opening us to the expansion of spirit characteristic of the chakras that dwell above.” (Judith)
To reclaim our fourth chakra is to reclaim our right to love and be loved. It is to locate ourselves within the cosmic swirl of life, finding the balance between contrary compliments and polar energies. It is embracing the cosmic dance of never giving up and always letting go. Recognizing our nature is both strong and soft, powerful and peaceful, energetic and equanimous, dynamic and disciplined.
“The most common block in the heart chakra is the absence of self-love.” (Judith)
All this week we’ll work through poses that continue to draw on the stability, flexibility, and courage we’ve cultivated in our journey thus-far, while moving into the compassionate space of the heart. We’ll work to open the shoulders and upper back, especially through heart-opening and expansive back-bends. We’ll see how continuing to connect with our own inner strength and power leads seamlessly into a sense of expansion and connection with each other, all beings, and indeed the whole of the Cosmos.
Activities to Cultivate a Focus on Air
As air is the element of the fourth chakra, to help cultivate your awareness of this chakra consider incorporating activities or practices which focus on the air element. Here are some suggestions, drawn from The Sevenfold Journey by Judith and Vega:
- Use incense, aromatherapy oils, or a scented candle
- Apply perfume or essential oils/blends
- Monitor air quality in your environment using online resources
- Walk in the woods or climb a mountain, noticing the air, your lungs, your breath
- Learn/practice pranayama – the yoga of breath work
- Do something to advocate for better air quality on the local level or beyond
- Consider not driving for a day or more (thereby reducing your carbon emissions) and instead walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation.
Air relates also to space and expansion, so consider preferencing the following:
- Space to yourself
- Space for feelings
- Space to be quiet
- Space to receive
*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.
Anodea Judity and Selene Vega, The Sevenfold Journey
I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey.
Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.