By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
How can Yoga help us release anger? According to ancient Vedic philosophy, human suffering stems from the inability to see the true nature of life. Nowhere is that more true than when we feel the primal emotion of anger. Ultimately, the only way to stop this reaction is to change the thought process that leads to this primal feeling.
Anger is Energy
Nevertheless, anger is made up of energy. Our bodies and minds hold currents of energy waves. We might try mantras, Japa, prayers, and positive affirmations to harness that energy. Yet, Yoga has many methods to choose from, and some help us channel physical energy constructively. Yoga is one of the oldest and most effective ways of channeling energy through the body.
Releasing Negative Energy
Yoga is also scientifically proven to balance the mind, body, and spirit, which helps reduce the tension that fuels anger. Although every posture (asana) may not be right for every student, many asanas are useful for clearing blockages and releasing negative energy. Below are some asana groups which will help anyone release anger without regret.
Postures for Meditation and Relaxation
These poses soothe the nervous system, relax muscle tension, and are good for both beginners and more advanced students. These meditative asanas are the Half Lotus Pose, Easy Pose, Hero Pose, and Corpse Pose.
These postures are good for releasing tension in the back, spine, shoulders, and upper body area, increasing the flow of prana or vital life force.
Trikonasana (Triangle) provides a good stretch for the sides of the body, adjusts skeletal alignment, and gives us a sense of being grounded.
This family of asanas balance the spine, expand the chest, and increase blood flow throughout the body, cleansing the organs of toxins and supplying them with a freshly oxygenated blood supply.
This family of Yoga poses builds strong legs and effectively deals with fear while instilling confidence or courage.
Postures such as Shoulder Stand, Downward Facing Dog, and Legs up the Wall Pose involve the entire body; they calm the nervous system and release negative energy.
Tadasana, or Mountain, helps ground the body and center scattered emotions.
Other Yogic Options
Flowing sequences in Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Hatha Flow classes help to release an overload of negative energy within the body. Like going for a long walk or run, flowing movement is an option to release anger from the body and mind.
Pranayama for anger works, but beware of pushing too much with dynamic techniques when you are angry. Therefore, a good mix of pranayama over a 30 to the 60-minute session is great, but it should be moderately paced.
Meditation for anger works after asana and/or pranayama practice. I have met a few even-tempered souls who never seem to feel anger. Even for them, I recommend warm-ups, asana, and/or pranayama practice before meditation during stressful times. Meditation does wonders, but the physical purging of negative energy one receives from warm-ups, asana, and/or pranayama is priceless.
Observe and Harness
The key to controlling anger is by recognizing, stopping, and converting negative thoughts in their early stages. Harnessing negative energy requires clarity and awareness. Yoga teaches practitioners to listen to their bodies, to be patient, and to observe the process, when practicing asanas.
These energy-channeling skills can then be transferred to daily life. The same discipline it takes to hold an asana and then release it in your Yoga practice can be just as effective when it is time to release anger while channeling it into compassion and forgiveness.
When we get angry, our muscles tense up, and our body prepares for a fight. This is known as the fight-or-flight response. The adrenaline pumping through our body can make us feel like we are on edge, ready to lash out at anyone threatening us. While the fight-or-flight response is natural and helpful in certain situations, it can also be harmful when triggered unnecessarily or not released properly. When we get stuck in the fight-or-flight response, we may lash out at those around us or hold onto our anger long after the situation has passed.
Final Word for Asanas
Yoga postures can help to release the physical tension that builds up in our bodies when we are angry. By lengthening and opening our muscles, we can allow the energy of anger to dissipate. Yoga postures can also help to calm the mind and allow us to see situations more clearly. If you find yourself getting angry often or struggling to let go of your anger, yoga postures may be able to help you.
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3 thoughts on “Can Yoga Postures Help to Release Anger?”
When we feel the primal emotion of anger. Ultimately, the only way to stop this reaction is to change the thought process that leads to the feeling. Thanks for sharing this informative post about how to release anger with yoga practice.
I felt so much better after doing a helpful practice. Yoga is an effective way to help release anger. Thank you so much for this. 🙂
Yoga is a scientifically proven method of balancing the mind, body, and spirit; that in itself helps to reduce the tension that fuels anger. Thanks for s haring this helpful article