Anger is something we all must deal with, at least, on occasion. Labeling it as a bad emotion, trying never to feel it, or fighting to suppress or control irritation generally increases its power. These are “should” mindsets that create resistance and invite self-judgment, both of which only add to negative feelings. Additionally, this type of control only works for so long; sooner or later, anger will find some means of expression.
Another view holds that expressing fury prevents the emotion from festering inside. While anger can be beneficial in certain ways – perhaps alerting us to where we need to speak up, take care of ourselves or protect another who might be harmed – it still needs proper expression. Exploding and shouting whenever we’re angry is hardly ideal, and it could become a habit that serves no one but the angry person.
Anger is a form of energy, like any emotion, and it creates a chemical reaction in our bodies that can sometimes be hard to manage. We hear phrases such as “can’t see straight” or “in the heat of anger” that speak to how powerful this reaction can be. However, recognizing that it is energy and remembering that energy wants to flow can help in releasing it without fireworks. Yoga practice can be a very helpful tool for just this purpose.
Yoga’s goal of helping energy to flow while cultivating calmness and stillness in the moment can help in both simple and extended ways. Even those who don’t have years of yoga experience can practice breath control, and daily repetition helps it become a habit to call on in heated moments. Whether dealing with something as common as being cut off in traffic or as complex as an antagonistic personal relationship, taking a moment to focus on the breath can help clear the haze of rage before impulsive reactions cause trouble.
Ongoing yoga practice also adds benefits through developing centered focus. Naturally, someone isn’t going to stop in the moment and perform an asana, but the overall experience of energy flow, of knowing the still point within becomes a greater and greater state of being with time. Then when anger builds or even flashes, the ability exists to experience it as a wave, using the focus developed through yoga to handle it without allowing it take over or, conversely, lodge within. Yoga helps a practitioner release anger using an appropriate type of control.
© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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