yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

Anger is a very volatile emotion that grips everyone at one point or another. No matter how peaceful and rational an individual is, anger is an inevitability. Knowing how to handle anger is an important skill for everyone to have. Within every angry moment is the potential for positive change; we only need to learn how to find it.

In our society, we are constantly sent mixed signals regarding anger. On one hand anger is vilified, and we are encouraged to repress it as much as possible. Those who experience negative emotions are somehow less than those around them; it’s not holy, rational or enlightened to feel anger.

On the other hand, anger is strongly associated with power and respect. In movies and on television, the protagonists often live out the mantra ‘Don’t get mad; get even!’ and this makes them powerful and attractive. People relate to them because they are doing what many individuals wish they had the freedom to do; to act out on their poisonous emotion, and stop denying that it’s there.

Media rarely paints an accurate picture of the toll anger takes on an individual; they only focus on the positive aspects of anger which are boldness, daring, lack of inhibition and sudden, decisive action. They choose not to portray the fatigue, depression, fear, ramifications of poor choices made in the heat of the moment and loneliness that anger usually leaves in its wake.

Those who meditate may inadvertently create a ticking time bomb of repressed anger within themselves without even realizing it. Starving an angry ego of power and attention through the process of meditation is usually enough to make the underlying mind pattern of angry reaction dissolve, but sometimes this is not the case. Occasionally, those who meditate simply grow used to ignoring their anger on a daily basis. Ignored anger has the potential to be much more destructive than blatant, direct anger, because one has an outlet and the other does not. Living the old saying ‘A good fight clears the air’ certainly isn’t enlightened living, but at least the anger is experienced, regarded and then released. It doesn’t have the opportunity to accumulate and poison its host.

This form of meditation isn’t for everyone.  For many, it is a method for surpassing anger, but for others the emotional pain is too much to bear.  In this meditation, instead of drawing away from the anger, go as deeply into it as possible. Feel the pain, anger and rage. Observe the mind, without emotion, as it rattles off various plots of revenge and retaliation against whoever caused your anger.

Sit in a quiet place where there will be no interruptions. Breathe in and out a few times to get settled into the practice. Now breathe in, observing the anger, knowing that it’s present and allowing it to be. Then breathe out, knowing that the emotion won’t last forever. Breathe in, knowing that anger causes as much pain to its host as it causes to others. Breathe out, knowing that you are infinitely stronger than any anger residing inside of you. Breathe in, feeling the anger fully. Breathe out, knowing that it’s okay to experience anger sometimes.

Continue on in this manner, turning anger from pain to blessing. By making the anger itself the subject of intense contemplation, the anger is accepted, respected and addressed. Through anger meditation, individuals need never be slaves to hidden negative emotions again. This leads to true joy and peace.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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