Friday, December 13, 2013

Feel Angry? Try Yoga

One of the many benefits of yoga is a calm mind. We see this almost instantly after taking a few poses and breathing through the sensations and with continuous practice the calm mind begins to unveil itself in other parts of our lives.

Anger is a tough emotion to deal with. Some people were taught anger is bad and so when it shows up, they repress it resulting in an unsuspecting explosion later. Others act out on their anger, yelling and screaming or being violent in a fit of rage, all which can damage relationships or even send you to the jailhouse.

If you have some anger you want to work through, roll out your yoga mat and try these suggestions.

Sun Salutations
This heat building sequence will get you sweating and using your whole body. This can be great to burn off anger and allow yourself to calmly deal with the situation at hand from a perspective of awareness.

If you're new to sun salutations, start standing with your feet under your hips. Inhale as you raise your arms up above your head. Exhale bend forward hinging at the hips, hands to the ground. Inhale lengthen your spine. Exhale hands to the mat, step back into upper pushup position, lower down with elbows against your ribs. Inhale, press down into your hands lift your torso up and look up toward the ceiling, keep your butt low and feel your feet pressing into the ground keeping your legs straight. This is called upward facing dog. Exhale, lift your hips up with the strength in your abdominals and come onto the flats of your feet for downward facing dog. Take a few breaths here. On an exhale step up to the top of your mat. Inhale lengthen your spine and exhale bend forward. On an inhale lift back up to standing with a straight spine and exhale back to standing. Then repeat a few times.

Child's Pose
Sometimes we need to just sit with our feelings and let them wash over us until they can pass. A great way to relax and breath is by doing child's pose. Kneel on the ground and sit on your heels. Allow your chest to rest onto your thighs and put your hands out in front of you. Rest your head on the ground if it reaches. Put your attention on your breath and relax. Feel your anger and examine it. Breathe.

Uttanasana - Forward Bend
When we get angry, our bodies tense up. Try a standing forward bend to allow the energy to flow out of you and into the ground. With you feet grounded strongly into the earth, inhale reach your arms up to the sky and exhale hinge at the hips to release down into the earth. Feel the energy of anger rise up the back of your legs as you inhale and wash over and out of you as you exhale and sink deeper.

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