I have been approached a couple of times with a simple question: how can I deal with anger? So, I have compiled 5 tips to deal with anger through yoga!
Anger is a normal, yet complex emotion which usually covers up something else: embarrassment, shame, hurt, anxiety…
Anger can also have a negative impact on your life, affecting your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships.
Remember, you have more control over your emotions than you think!
Cool down your emotions with Sitali and Sitkari breathing
Anger is a fire emotion, so we can do some breathing exercises to cool down.
I recommend Sitali and Sitkari breathing, which involve breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose. By inhaling cool air in this way, your body will quickly cool down and relax as you will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
I have released a full tutorial on these breathing exercises, which you can find HERE.
Practice forward folds to release tension
Child’s pose, standing or sitting forward fold, plow pose… any pose available to you that involves bending forward will do! Forward folds have many benefits, such as:
- release tension in the back, shoulders and neck,
- ease fatigue and anxiety,
- ease headaches,
- lower blood pressure,
- soothe the nervous system, which gets you out of the fight-or-flight mode.
Try progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is another method to relieve stress and tension: when your body is relaxed, your mind will follow.
Lay down, arms relaxed down next to your sides and legs slightly apart.
Slowly, bring your awareness and relax your body part by part, starting with your toes, your feet, ankles, calves etc…
Relax the jaw, separating the teeth and the lips, hinting a smile to relax the whole face.
Finish on the crown of your head.
This is a delightful exercise for falling asleep as well!
Understand yourself through Svadhyaya
This means self-study. Typically it refers to study of philosophical texts, but it can also refer to the study of the self.
Here’s how you can make use of this tool:
- Study yourself when you feel anger rising, writing down what you observe on a journal may be useful as well.
- Take awareness of the emotion, notice where you feel it in your body, notice your breathing.
- Try to identify your triggers, and reflect on how you can change them.
Life is hard, there is no denying that. Also, everyone wants to be happy.
However, empathy and compassion are not always easy, especially towards people who are very different from us.
Through a practice of mindfulness, we can work to improve out empathy skills.
Try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. When you change perspective you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.
Take a breath, and try to break away from this loop of anger.
What are your tips for dealing with anger?
If you found my work useful or entertaining and want to say thanks, you can always buy me a cup of tea!