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De-fusing Anger with Yoga

De-fusing Anger with Yoga

Anger comes in several forms, including outrage, frustration, jealousy, resentment, fury, and hatred. It also masquerades as judgment, criticism, and even boredom. Like all emotions, it is a complex, ever-shifting state involving thoughts, feelings, and bodily changes.

Yogis understand anger as an energy existing, like all emotions, halfway between a physical and mental experience. Like heat or other energies, anger wanes naturally, if we don’t hold it back with psychological defenses—say, denying or repressing it: “Anger tends to arise in a very visceral wave. It arises, crests, and then passes away.”

In yogic theory, asanas, pranayama, and meditation comprise a comprehensive toolkit for freeing up blockages at the mental, physical, or energetic level. Yoga, particularly therapeutic forms like restorative yoga, has proven to be a valuable method of cooling hot-reactives down. Asanas may be in fact the best yogic antidote for anger “because asanas allow you to move the energy.”

The fact that anger manifests differently in each person, and must be treated differently as well. Some of us get so revved up by our catecholamines that we can’t think straight. In those cases, experts have found that methods such as deep breathing, moderate exercise, or walking away from a provocative situation are the best way to lower the arousal level. But for those who are milder by nature, awareness can accelerate anger’s rush through, and out of, the body. Yoga helps people stay with the wave of anger all the way to the other end, The first step at anger management is – do not resist and do not ignore the cause of anger. Experience it fully. Try and develop an attitude of an observer or a witness. Learn to change your role from being the subject to becoming a bystander. See how the anger is operating. See what it is doing to your mind and how. When faced by an anger causing action, immediately get into the mode of exploring and rationalizing with the “whys” and “more whys“.
You will start seeing some wonderful perspectives. You start appreciating that it is not necessarily the desire of the person to hurt you – getting angry is YOUR response. You realize that a person is seeing the situation from his point of view to the best of his intellectual and emotional capability – he may not be quite ‘capable enough’ to appreciate your point of view. This is only natural – because individuals are built in different ways. After all, aren’t you showing similar traits when you are getting angry!

Yoga Asanas to overcome Anger

All postures should be performed while doing deep, quiet breathing


The Shoulder Stand (Sarvang Asana)

Effective for Excessive anger or hate, Migraine headache, Liver disorder, hemorrhoids, Anemia, Hypertension, Indigestion.
The Shoulder stand invigorates and rejuvenates your whole body.


Description of the asana




The Half Bow (Ardha Dhanurasana)



Half bow energizes and strengthens the entire body, and especially builds core body strength. Half bow stimulates the kidneys, adrenals and reproductive system.
Description of the asana


Avoid: Recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, neck or arms; pregnancy, recent abdominal surgery.

Hidden Lotus Pose (Gupta Padmasana)


This asana corrects postural defects of the spine. It may be used as a relaxation or even a meditation pose as it induces peace, stability and emotional balance.
Description of the asana


The Corpse Pose (Shava-asana)

The goal of the shava-asana is for the body and mind to be perfectly still and relaxed. Not only should the body be motionless and at ease, but the mind as well should be quiet, like the surface of a still lake. The result will be a deep and stable relaxation that will extend into your meditation or be felt through the activities of your daily circumstances. If find yourself getting drowsy while in the shava-asana increase the rate and depth of your breathing.
Description of the asana


“Antar mouna” meditation
Developing this observer attitude is NOT difficult. Yoga also has some very powerful tools in the form of “antar mouna” meditation techniques that help you cultivate this attitude. Moreover, as you start reaping the wonderful fruits of such an attitude, such a behavioral pattern only gets reinforced.
Over time, with such an attitude, you will see that not only do you get angry less often, but also each brush with an unpleasant situation provides a remarkable opportunity to know your subconscious mind in a better way. Every such insight brings you one step closer to the supreme goal – that is, Enlightenment (perpetual Bliss)

Antar mouna is the technique of inner silence, also known as witnessing. It is divided into six main stages which can be divided into three basic categories. The first two categories are passive, where we sit and observe our mind and our process of evolution, of change in our inner nature, without engagement. We simply observe that tendency to suppress things and to grab onto things and to lose ourselves within our mental process. We do not try to change anything. We simply develop what is called a sense of self. A sense of self is very grounding and calming. We feel a greater sense of safety and trust the more we develop it. So the first stages of antar mouna are simply passive, learning to witness outside sounds or sensations, learning to witness thoughts without getting engaged in suppression of thoughts or involvement in the process. These are the two main states, grabbing onto a thought and pushing it away. Of course, the awareness is the antidote to ignorance.


Once we have that capacity, we go into the next two stages. These are active, to develop mental muscle, like doing mental push-ups. We consciously try to grab onto a thought, to exaggerate the process of grabbing. Then we consciously let it go. One stage is to create a thought, grab it and then throw it away, and the other state is to grab a spontaneous thought as it comes up and then throw it away. So we are developing this internal capacity to deal with our thoughts, feelings, emotions and inner states with greater clarity. In the third category, which is divided into two groups, we throw out any thought that comes into our mind, until we achieve shoonya or emptiness, a luminous emptiness. It is not a dark, tamasic emptiness; it is an emptiness which is full of peace and love.
Antar mouna is one of the most important techniques that we can learn in order to maintain the path, in order to maintain an awareness of duality and polarity, and to be able to hold the negative as well as the positive experiences.

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