Grumps? Try Angry yoga to get rid of them

So you’re angry, frustrated, or just a little snarky (hey, yogis, we all get like that). But yoga is there for you, to calm you, so you can dump that anger right down on the mat rather than unleash it on your poor friends and family, colleagues, or unsuspecting strangers.

It’s easy to think that if you are angry or tense, it’s the worst time to do yoga. You’ll only get more agitated and hate it (because all you want to do is punch that wall).

The magic of yoga comes in a counter-intuitive way — when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, you may start to love yoga — and you will magically love yourself. In the process, you can let go of whatever made you angry (and whoever).

You Can Channel Your Anger

All emotions, including anger, are valid. It is important to use the passion that drives the rage and then let the negative feelings go. It’s not about accepting your anger but rather transforming it into energy you can use to “conquer” difficult or frustrating breathing or posture practices.

Stretch, squeeze, and tighten a little more. It’s not very yogic, but you need to make your negative energy positive.

The yoga mat is not a bag to punch, but it’s a safe place to let go of your frustrations. You can sweat it out during a hot yoga class or visualize the resentment flowing from your body as you do a hip opener. Keep going, even if it hurts.

Let your fury fuel your determination if you must. Grind your teeth. Turn your anger into inspiration on the mat. Asanas can frustrate us. We should channel our frustration in asanas we find frustrating.

Challenge Your Anger

It’s about being a warrior in your practice. The Warrior Series would be an excellent place to begin to confront your anger.

Man (or Woman) up. It is important to allow the surrender you bring to your warrior poses (or other strong, standing poses, especially balance asanas) to help take out the anger.

You begin to realize that your anger is not the only thing you have to worry about. You know that yoga is better and bigger than any frustration. It’s about telling your ego you don’t have to use your anger as fuel to fuel your identity out of a feeling of separation. Yoga tells you you are a divine being, regardless of external circumstances.

It’s not about being guilty of anger (although it is important to be circumspect) but rather about recognizing that anger has no real purpose and that you can do better without it.

Calm Your Anger

You can now sit or lie still and let the anger that is left.

What may have begun as anger can quickly turn into a feeling of irritation in the pit of the stomach. You can release anger by breathing and using postures such as the Wind-Removing Pose. You can literally blow out that last puff gently.

You can easily replace hatred with gentleness, and even without violence or fighting. All you need is willpower and patience.

Savasana, Forward folds, Child’s pose — these are all poses that will calm down any remaining anger. Exhale longer than you inhale to feel the release.

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