Do you have days when you feel there’s so much frustration and anger bubbling inside you that you lash out at anything that moves—our spouse, our kids, our BFFs, the dog—for behavior that normally wouldn’t bug us.
We are all human beings and with the constant stressful life around us, we will all have moments of letting our anger got over the top and said or do things that we regret.
First before we start on the yogic ways to control anger, let’s see how our body stores our emotions. You may or may not feel the emotions as they may accumulate in our body feeding our energy until we are exhausted and drained. Therefore scanning your body and identify the suppressed emotions associated with it is important for us to maintain our mental wellness.
We open our hearts in backbends, and surrender through forward folds while loosening the hamstrings, which are connected to our ability to let go (or not). The hips hold on to sadness, and the liver to anger. Stress and tension takes to shoulder and stiff neck. Are there days when you felt these places in our body are so heavy, tight or stiff that you felt so drain and exhausted? We hold on to feelings, replaying circumstances in our minds, holding onto grudges, anger, and resentment. Even if we believe we’ve forgiven on an intellectual level, what does the body say? Have we really let go?
There are a few ways which you can identify store/building up of emotions before it builds up:
1) Meditation – Pratayaha
Pratayaha, the 5th limbs of yoga which teaches us to withdraw our senses. This withdrawal of senses is for turning our awareness inwards and start to mentally scan our body; examine the sensations that show up in our body when you are upset, when you are angry, when you are stressed. By identify our stored emotions; one can combine the practice of rest of the yoga limbs (Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Panayama and Dharana) to help us release, control or balance our mental wellness.
Did you know there are specific yoga poses to release emotions like anger, sadness, and even worry? We practice pratayaha to explore and scan where specific emotion accumulates and uses Asanas practice to clear or relieve them out. Targeting specific areas can help clear stubborn blocks, identify your chakra system and support your ongoing quest for emotional freedom.
Backbends: Griefs (Heart chakra related to love)
When we grieve, our hearts hurt. We lost something we loved. Practicing backbends postures help us open our hearts, release our emotions. When our hearts are open, we’re able to ride the flow of life.
Twists: Anger (Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura chakra)
Anger’s connection to the liver is also found in both Chinese medicine and yoga. The liver cleans the blood and stores energy. In yoga, the liver is related to the third chakra, in the belly. This is the seat of will and power.
Hip-Openers: Sadness, Stress (Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana)
The hips hold a variety of emotions, from stress to sadness to trauma. It is related to the Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana, which is the energy center related to emotions.
So next time when you feel trapped, sad or tired, remember to scan and meditate first. Try this, I walked away feeling lighter, relieved and free, the emotional release we feel keeps many of us coming back for more.
Weekend warrior (YTT200 – Sep17)