Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.
The Anahata is located between the two nipples, but sometimes slightly to the right of the sternum rather than directly over the heart.
It is associated with the conquest of the element of air and the sound of cosmic consciousness.
Many spiritual traditions identify Anahata as the primary chakra to be awakened in order to experience spiritual enlightenment: this is the place where upper and lower levels of consciousness energy merge, symbolised by two intersecting triangles. It also links the left and right sides of the body, Yin and Yang characteristics. These two interlinking forms create a cross which symbolically represents integration of these polarities.
Isha is the god of this chakra, seated on a black antelope or gazelle, a symbol of swiftness and air. Isha is endowed with complete yogic power, is omniscient and omnipresent. He is white symbolising purity. He has three eyes, the third representing samadhi knowledge (right concentration). Meditation on his form banishes fear and strengthens concentration.
The lightning-coloured goddess Kakini Sakti, also with three eyes, is depicted in yellow holding a noose and a skull. Concentration on her stabilises prana and removes all obstacles to Isha. When Kakini is red, it indicates that her power is being used to control pranic energy; when she is white, she is Isha-consciousness.
Anahata is the 12 petalled vermilion coloured lotus, representing: expectation, anxiety, endeavour, attachment, hypocrisy, infirmity, egoism, discretion, covetousness, fraudulence, indecision and regret. Meditation on this chakra releases attachment to all things the “heart” desires; by withdrawing the senses from worldly things. One is thus able to connect with the experience of bliss. Desires, attachments, expectations and emotions of the heart shut off the natural flow of bliss once it has awakened, and the emotional ups and downs which often accompany the experience of kundalini awakening may be related to the issues of this chakra.
This chakra has been associated with arthritis and respiratory problems as well as cardiovascular and hypertensive illnesses.
Balance in this chakra is manifested through the qualities of compassion, acceptance and unconditional love; imbalance is indicated by insensitivity, passivity and sorrow.
Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.