Please enjoy this feature article by Tantra Teacher, Ella Shannon. 

Being the Heart Chakra, we all like to think that our relationships exist at this level. And of course there are some elements of our connecting and some moments in time when many couples are resonating together at the level of Anahata, the heart chakra. Remember the heart chakra is not the romantic love of Svadistana chakra (the sexual chakra), nor is it the passion of Manipura chakra (solar chakra). An activation at the level of Anahata chakra brings a deep sense of openness, a sense of awe and wonder and an over-flowing of compassion.

            A relationship that exists mostly at the level of Anahata is not necessarily everyone’s ideal for a romantic and intimate relationship. A couple strong on Anahata chakra will be very sweet, very soft and loving. They will know and feel deeply their love for each other, which sounds amazing, but Anahata alone will not be a healthy relationship. There was a Spiritual Master called Anandamayi Ma (look her up, she is just exquisite), and she spent time so deeply in the bliss of the heart, so totally absorbed in ecstasy and spiritual love that she was unable to feed herself. Her devotees literally had to spoon feed her and help her to the toilet etc. You can imagine a couple like this, all wrapped up in love but dysfunctional at a worldly level. You need Mulhadhara chakra (base) to bring stability, so there is food on the table and security for the future. A relationship is greatly enhanced by some Svadistana as this brings romance, sensuality, flirting and playfulness to the relationship. Having some polarity on the level of Manipura chakra is also important, this is the passion a couple has for each other, this is the drive within the relationship to achieve and to hold each other up, to go out on a limb for each other as you know you ‘have each other’s back’.

            With this foundation, a polarity on Anahata takes a relationship beyond the everyday and into the realm of love. This is the depth that makes it feel so good to be around some couples.

 A strong polarity at this level is that the more masculine person will be totally sure and confident in their love, there will be no question. The more feminine person will feel that love so deeply, and will glow with feeling how they are so loved and cherished.

            Challenges at Anahata occur if love is there in the relationship- but one person can’t fully recognise it. The love could be there, but Anahata won’t be fully realised if the lower levels of consciousness are not there. Relationship can’t function if they don’t have all the chakras met up until the heart- it provides too many worldly challenges. Another burden of Anahata is that a strong activation at this level means you feel at a very deeply the suffering and injustices of the world. For people such as this, a strong Manipura that can get mad and make deliberate action towards bettering the world is important, and strong activation at Manipura is also protective as it enables assertiveness and boundaries; you can’t bring home every person that has nowhere to sleep, you can’t save every stray cat and dog.

            If  there is lots of activation on lower levels, and a couple wants to increase the polarity at the heart, Tantra can help. Tantric exercises such as couple mediations on the heart, heart breathing, reading sacred devotional poetry to each other will heighten Anahata, as will spending time in nature together. There is something that happens in nature if you are able to take yourself into a state of deep awe and wonder at the majesty of the sky, the sea, the forests. There is an almost painful but somehow delicious sense of cracking opening of the heart, a feeling that the nature of the universe is love itself and somehow despite all the troubles of the world we can feel “I am loved, I AM love, everything is ultimately okay”.

Ella Shannon is a relationship therapist, tantra teacher and trauma counsellor. She runs ‘Evolution of Intimacy’. www.ellashannon.com