Cool Your Anger With This Calming Yoga Practice
Find a sense of calm with this Yoga practice designed to help you address and alleviate the physical and emotional affects of anger.
Anger is a very interesting emotion to investigate. Any kind of yoga practice can help us explore different themes that come up during our asana practice. We gain perspective and patience in allowing things to unfold without intensifying the already high heat of emotions. In fact, our practice can help cool things down and slow our natural impulse to take immediate action, using a few simple techniques. Managing stress is an important part of dealing with anger and transforming it into wise and well thought out action.
How Yoga Helps
Yoga is a perfect practice to help deal with anger in a healthy way. The essence of Yoga is peace.
That being said, not very many yogis are walking around as enlightened beings beaming with joy and peace, all day and night. In fact, I think yoga teachers are given ever more challenging assignments from the universe to allow us to truly test out if we can practice what we preach, and try to become more proficient!
However, we are very lucky because we have so many ancient scriptures and practices to fall back on when we are dealing with emotional distress, and guide us through the storms we face. We can use the practice to help us cool the fires of the emotions, and use the wisdom of the second brain – the guts – to look at the source of our anger.
We use the breaths to cool the fires of he 3rd Chakra around the area of the navel, and create more room for an energy exchange in this area. We slow down the breaths and pause at the end of the out breath for a moment, and this practice helps slow down time for us. This is how we cultivate more time between action to a source of anger and a reaction. It’s in this space that we can look at our emotions intelligently, allow them the light of our awareness, and to allow ourselves TO FEEL THE FEELINGS FULLY!
We get out of thoughts of the past and the future and into the breath that is happening in the present moment. We get out of the head and into the body and feel where those emotions are showing up in our legs, our hips, our back, neck, shoulders, jaws and even our scalp! And we use the breath to move that energy out and down, so we can invite fresh energy that will move us into our next moment.
Asana and Pranayama Practices
When I’m feeling upset, I sense a lot of upward moving energy as the emotion is expressing itself in my body. Aside from Lions’ Pose, (which really is a lot of fun if you are arguing with your loved ones), I love standing poses to help move that excess energy downward, so feel strongly connected to the earth though the lower half of my body.
When we are grounding through the legs, and using slow breaths to feel the cooling energy of the earth coming up, this can be a very refreshing practice. Use Sitali (the curled tongue breath) to cool things down even more. I love all the standing poses for this. Mountain, Tree, even Warrior done in a strong way can be very helpful.
I also love restorative poses like Supported Child’s Pose, either on the ground, or using a bolster up against a table. I love the idea of breathing into the back of the body, and really completing the out breath. Supported Twists with a bolster are also wonderful.