Anahata is one of the seven main chakras (energy areas) that are located in line on the central axis of the body. It is located at the level of the heart in the fourth position,
whether it is counted from the base of the spine, as if counted from the crown; this is why it is the central chakra.
It is the meeting point between the first 3 chakras (related to the most primary, the most intuitive) and the last 3 or higher chakras (related to the mental and spiritual ). At this point the obstacles between the self and the others are disolved and it is possible to connect with love and with life. This energy center is said to constitute the point where the physical and the spiritual meet. Anahata represents a point where you find balance.
Its location corresponds to the thoracic cavity where the heart resides.
That is why it is associated with love, compassion and self-acceptance, coordinating our pulsations with the rhythm of the universe, that is why it is also associated with sound and music. Its name Anahata derives from "Anahat" which is the sound generated by the meeting of two things without friction, without blow, it is the sound of unity.
This area of the body is also related to the functioning of the immune system, based on a very important psychological effect: when we are afraid or feel threatened, we tend to round, closing the chest and hips. The mind associates these movements with danger. And it also works the other way around, when we open our chests and hips, we are sending the message to our minds that there is no reason to be afraid.
At the physical level, we work through chest opening asanas and backbends (extensions). Among its benefits we will find that:
* Helps to tone the muscles around the spine
* Relieves tension in the back and shoulders.
* They are an additional help for women in regulating menstrual flow, relieving colic and preventing prolapse of the uterus.
* Generates greater blood circulation and stimulation of the thyroid, pineal and pituitary glands.
Backbends or spinal extensions work by lengthening the muscles that surround the heart and lungs: pectorals, rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, and intercostals.
In this stretching process, we can observe that one muscle will gain strength as it contracts to lengthen the opposite muscle. Thus the back of the body will work to open up the front, strengthening the back muscles and making our spine more flexible.
In order to extend the spine, the support of the thighs, hip flexors, abdominal wall and upper torso will also be required.
In the image we see a backbend (extension) that well graphs the rear activation for the frontal support: Ustrasana or camel position.
The extensions give great freedom to our movements and our breathing as they expand the lung capacity. As the spine becomes more flexible and the back stronger, the lungs have more space, increasing the possibility of oxygenation and obtaining more energy.
If you are not experienced in this type of posture, it is always better to start practicing with a qualified instructor. Work with attention and patience. Do not force the extension because apart from strenght you will also require flexibility. Using only force you could hurt your spine. If instead you are very flexible you will also need abdominal strength to learn to extend the spine evenly.
To work this chakra through meditation, begin by visualizing Muladhara and Svadhisthana Chakra, passing through the site of power which is Manipura center.
Around the chest area focus on the heart chakra that is a place of purity, freshness and cleanliness from where we can perceive unity instead of separation. When you arrive here remember that we are infinite and unconditional: we are pure love.