Yoga for Anger: A Yoga Sequence

You took a deep breath and counted to ten. You remembered six things you were grateful for. You zapped the situation with love and light from your heart center… but you’re still pissed.

You’re not exempt from anger just because you #yogaeverydamnday and you realize how blessed you are. You don’t want that anger to be buried under the ground, but what can you do? How can you make use of the powerful energy that is coursing through your system and making your blood boil to do something?

Feel the anger first. Is it warm or cold? Is it wet or dry? Wet or dry? You feel these sensations before you even know what they are. Feel your anger, and don’t worry about the story. It will become less “sticky,” and you won’t have to tell yourself the same story over and over, which can feed the beast of anger.

Give your feelings a way to travel through your body. You can avoid “holding on” to the story by letting the emotion change into its opposite, patience and clarity.

This yoga sequence will help you to calm down when you are angry.

The Swaying Palm Tree Pose (Tyryak Tadasana).

Start by standing with your feet slightly wider apart than the distance between your hips. Inhaling, raise your arms straight above your ears. Relax the shoulders and exhale.

Turn the palms upwards and extend the body left on the next inhalation.

Try to extend both sides of your body, even if you are bent to one side. Take 4-10 deep breaths.

Exhale while lowering your arms. Repeat the pose from the other side.

Benefits: The Swaying Palm Tree promotes the healthy function of the liver and the channels that lead to the liver where anger is sown in the body.

Pendulum Pose (Dolasana)

Step your feet approximately shoulder distance apart. Hands behind the head at the base of your skull. As you inhale, lift your chest and face while spreading your elbows.

Exhalation comes out in three parts. Each part should be accompanied by a “HA!”.

Drop your chest forward and center it between the legs.

Bring the chest to the right leg by bouncing slightly.

Bring the chest back towards the left leg.

As you raise your torso to stand, inhale as you do so.

Repeat the posture 4-8 times. If you suffer from high blood pressure or have glaucoma, avoid this posture. You can do a squat or the Child’s Pose if you are feeling dizzy. If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees a little.

Benefits: Releases tension in the throat and around the voice. This pose also helps release frustrations from the heart.

Animal Pose (Saithyaliasana)

From a kneeling position, shift your hips to the right so that they are on the ground near your feet. Bring your left leg forward, and bring your right leg forward. Touch the sole of your foot on your left thigh at your left knee. Your hips should be shifted so that your left knee is directly opposite your center line.

Exhale, inhale and extend your back. Fold forward with your chest pointing towards your knee. Keep your right hand bent and close to your knee while extending your left arm long in front. Try to keep your hips and chest square to the floor while you breathe deeply.

Hold for 8 to 108 breaths.

Benefits: This position has a subtle and deep impact on your hips. It harmonizes your liver’s discrimination function with your heart’s expansive nature, helping you develop and maintain healthy limits.

Pose of Hare (Shashankasana)

While in the kneeling position (Vajrasana), place your hands on your thighs and focus on breathing deeply into your stomach. Imagine that you can fill your torso with every inhalation from your pubic bone up to your pit of the throat and then empty it from your pit of the throat down to your pubic bone with every exhalation.

Exhale and hinge forward, keeping your back straight. It would be best if you only came forward as far as possible without straining your back or curving it. Lift your back to a sitting position by inhaling.

After a few reps, let your torso come forward as far as possible, if you can, and touch your forehead to the floor before rising back up. As you sit back down, focus on lengthening and straightening your spine.

Repeat 8-20 times.

Benefits: This position encourages you to move always from your rooted, grounded center.

Roaring Lion (Simhasana)

Spread your knees and turn your thumbs inwards. To stretch your forearms, press your palms against the floor while facing forward.

Lift your head and drop your head forward. Inhale. Stick out your tongue and exhale hard, using your mouth. Make a “hhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. Imagine heat and tension escaping your body via your mouth.

Repeat this 3-5 times.

Benefits: This position releases excess heat and frustration from your digestive tract and helps you to clear your voice.

Reverse Savasana (Advasana)

Face down, get on your mat. Bring your forehead down to the ground without squishing it. Tuck in your chin and bring your chin up a little. Your elbows should be on the floor, and your fingers should be interlaced behind the base of the skull.

Relax and breathe deeply in your stomach. Rest here for as long as it makes you comfortable.

Benefits: This variation of Savasana reduces stimulation and calms the mind. This also expands the inhalation into the lower back to help release tension and inflammation.

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