Yoga for Anger Management

Anger is a natural human emotion.  We all feel it from time to time.  The catch, of course, is finding a way to manage our anger when it does arise.  And yoga is one way we can calm down and work through the anger we are feeling in an effort to keep it from blowing up to an unhealthy level.

Anger comes in many forms – frustration, jealousy, outrage, judgement, criticism, resentment, and hatred, just to name a few – and often involves not only an emotional but also a physical response in our bodies as well.  Given all its complexities, it is no wonder why anger can be hard to prevent or even treat.

But yoga is perhaps one of the best ways to combat your feelings of anger.  Since yoga by its very definition is the union of the mind and body, it can help us move through our anger more productively and more quickly than we might be able to otherwise.

So the next time you find yourself getting heated or irritated, try some of these yoga poses to help you release that anger:

  1. Breath work – being still, sitting in Easy Seated pose, and focusing on the breath is a great way to begin to release anger.  Especially when you use Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) or the Wood Chopper breath.
  2. Child’s pose – relaxing the forehead into the ground and breathing…surrendering the body and all your emotions into the ground with which you are connected to through this pose
  3. Fish pose – opening the throat and heart to the sky…in a way helping to crack ourselves open so healing can take place…allowing the anger to melt off of you and into the floor beneath you
  4. Reclined twists – in a sense you are wringing the body out, purging it of the negative emotions…this pose also can help the muscles of the body relax and release as well
  5. Savasana – the ultimate in relaxation, this pose, coupled with focused breathing and conscious relaxing of the muscles, is a wonderful way to let go of those feelings of anger that may be festering inside of you

Whether you choose to do some or all of these, you will find relief for the otherwise overwhelming feeling of anger.  Listen to your body and stay with each pose as long as it feels good in your body. 

And if you find yourself struggling with feelings of anger in a place where you can’t exactly break into some yoga poses, consider going to the restroom or your car for a few moments of breath work – any little bit will help you release those feelings in a much more productive way than unleashing them on friends, family, colleagues, or the random stranger who happens by you at that wrong time.

So the next time you feel anger rising within you, don’t berate yourself or judge yourself for having such feelings – they are a totally natural human way of being and responding to life.  But rather, take a little time to do some breath and movement as a way to safely release all those negative, volatile feelings.  Namaste!

Bobbi Billman, Ignite Yoga & Wellness Owner

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