Yoga Poses for Anger
Everyone experiences anger at some point, but when that anger gets out of control and begins to affect relationships — with others and yourself — it requires management.
Suppressing anger isn't recommended; it's a real emotion that often has valid roots. Yoga can help you channel the anger in a constructive way. Instead of getting out your aggression by throwing a glass or saying something that you'll later regret, visit your mat to work on your emotions.
Spending a little time with your breath and your body can help you process why you're feeling angry and how to address the situation in a way that fosters growth.
Breathe and let go.
An imbalance in one of your energy centers can result in anger. Manipura chakra located governs understanding of your power in the world and your self esteem. When you feel out of control, or that your very individuality is threatened, this chakra may be kicked out of balance and anger ensures.
Yoga twists stimulate Manipura chakra. Examples of twists include:
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose: Sit on your buttocks with your right leg extended. Bend your left knee and plant the left foot on the floor outside your right thigh; your legs will be crossed. Inhale and as you exhale, hug your left knee with your right arm as you look behind you. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.
Revolved Side Angle: Stand with your legs about 4-feet apart. Ground down your left foot at about a 45-degree angle and bend your right knee to point to the front of the mat. Bring your hands to prayer position at the center of your chest; as you exhale, twist your left elbow outside your right thigh. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.
Reclined Twist: Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Allow your knees to fall to the left side and your head to the right. Use your left hand to gently press your hips to the left as you reach to the side of the room with the right arm. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.
Breathe and let go.
This simple pose softens anger with the innocent mindset of a child. You allow your hips to rest over your heels and melt your heart. Child's pose is also introspective; it gives you time to be reflective and alone. You can process anger without lashing out.
To do child's pose: Get into all fours and sit your buttocks back on your heels. Reach your arms forward on the mat and lay your forehead down on the floor or a block. Lengthen your spine as you feel yourself relax over your legs. Stay here for several breaths, or even several minutes.
Take a Deep Breath
You may have heard that when you're angry, you should take a deep breath and count to 10. Yoga has a similar approach. Simply taking a deep breath the moment you feel angry and noticing the way the emotions affect your mind can be a powerful way to diffuse a potentially explosive situation.
More precise yoga breath work, such as alternate nostril breathing or Bhastrika, aka Bellow's, breath can also clear your mind to ease anger.
Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.