• Jan Baker

What is the fourth chakra?

When my son was small, just after I'd had my daughter, I remember telling him that love wasn't like a bag of sweets. That once the bag was empty, it was all gone. That there is enough love to go around for everyone.

This is your fourth chakra. Often know as the heart chakra.

Colour of green, the fourth chakra is located in the middle of the chest. It's Sanskrit name is Anahata, and is represented by a lotus of 12 petals. Where the third chakra is fire, this chakra is associated with the element air. It's thought to be the bridge between the lower and higher chakras.

The fourth chakra is therefore concerned with unconditional love. It affects our ability to consider others, to be gentle in our expectations of ourselves and to emphathise with the challenges and joys experienced by others. It's basically the link between our intellect and our spiritual selves. Air, like love, is within and all around us. We can embody this element by keeping our heart center open and our love free-flowing.

Whilst unconditional love is considered to be a state of being, it can also be a conscious decision. We can decide to give it (third chakra) and direct the love of the fourth chakra to all those around us. When we're aware of how all things are interconnected, and give unconditional love to all those around us, it brings us a great sense of wellbeing and inner peace.

Of course, this is easier said than done! You can find yourself doing all the giving, even when you are in the one in need. This is a result of a third chakra imbalance. Similarly, someone who denies any empathy with those around them, and is unable to show compassion, would likely have depleted energy in the fourth chakra.

Have you ever found yourself working with a narcissist? Someone who has no empathy for others? I've worked with at least two, and unfortunately, all created endless problems for me. I know that they had depleted fourth chakras, and I very much had to dig deep into my own chakra to help me recognise that holding onto hurts and grievances benefits no one, least of all me! It's still a bit of a work in progress, but I am getting there. I don't get the urge to get the voodoo doll out quite so much as I did, these days!

You've probably also noticed how closely the third and fourth chakra work together from my words above. This is because when our ability to take responsibility for our actions is firmly established, we are then able to express love without our own needs, fears, desires and wants being the motivating factors. When we balance this chakra, we are saying that all people are deserving of love.

It will therefore come as no surprise that the heart chakra governs the lungs and heart. Air for the lungs, emotions for the heart. Therefore any exercise that expands the chest will also help free the energy of the heart chakra. One of the easiest - and perhaps the most enjoyable - is to sing. And I do, frequently! It doesn't matter if you're not singing correctly, or in tune, or whether you sound "good" or not. Breathing deeply into the diaphragm (the bit between your lungs and stomach) and letting your voice flow is a great way to expand the chest area.

I'll be posting some exercises to go along with my chakra blogs on my Facebook page if you'd like to work on releasing your chakra energies. See you there!

Stay safe, as always

Jan x

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