Yoga, the ancient Indian practice of exercise and meditation, has found widespread acceptance in all parts of the world as an activity that calms the mind and tones the body. Variants of yoga such as Hatha yoga, couple yoga, and power yoga combine the benefits of other exercises with yoga. Enough and more has been said about the physical benefits of yoga.
So let’s talk instead about the benefits yoga has for the mind, especially if you have anger issues. Anyone who has ever had a fit of rage knows the harm it does to them and the people around them. For one, anger isn’t good for your heart.1
Here’s how yoga can help!
1. Savasana Helps You Relax
Most anger, if not all, stems from stress, be it due to trauma or the ordeal of everyday life. The corpse pose which involves lying down on your back and breathing deeply is considered an important relaxation technique. A randomized study on stress management found that yoga is a promising technique to release stress.2
2. Vajrasana Deals With Anger That Stems From Anxiety
In Ayurveda and yoga, which are closely linked, it is believed that a chronic state of anxiety is a state of mind that has become a habit over time. Breathing, stretching and relaxing the muscles thus provide relief to the mind for a period of time. Vajrasana or diamond pose is one such asana that helps you breathe more deeply, sit straighter and relax the muscles around your belly, thus helping you release your state of anger.3
3. Pranayama Shifts The Focus To Your Breath
Long time practitioners of meditation know very well why we need to focus on our breath. Doing so helps the mind shift attention from the many thoughts in our head, onto something as natural as the breath. Breathing deeply, and making a habit of it, improves circulation to all the organs. There’s a reason deep breaths help us deal with anger and panic, and that is because it balances our fight and flight hormones.
Regular pranayama can help you fight anger issues. A breathing technique which is known as Sheetali, or cooling breath, can also serve the same purpose.4
4. Surya Namaskars For Overall Release
Surya Namaskars are the cardio of the yoga world. While they do boost the endorphins in our body and help us feel better, the synchronized breathing in yoga also helps to calm the mind. Regular practice can help alleviate anger issues.5
5. Sarvangasana For Better Brain Function
Did you know that anger could simply be because of an imbalance in the nervous system? The Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand, is an advanced yoga pose that you must only do in the presence of a teacher. When done correctly, it improves blood flow to the brain and neck, massages the spine and improves neural function overall. These consequences, in turn, result in a gradual reduction of anger, as you begin to focus more inwards.
As you may have noticed, the key to using yoga as an anger management technique is consistency. Do it over a period of time, and you are sure to notice results.
|↑1||Diamond, Eric L. “The role of anger and hostility in essential hypertension and coronary heart disease.” Psychological Bulletin 92, no. 2 (1982): 410.|
|↑2||Granath, Jens, Sara Ingvarsson, Ulrica von Thiele, and Ulf Lundberg. “Stress management: a randomized study of cognitive behavioural therapy and yoga”. Cognitive behaviour therapy 35, no. 1 (2006): 3-10.|
|↑3, ↑4||Kraftsow, Gary. Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga. Penguin, 1999.|
|↑5||How to reduce anger. The Art Of Living Foundation|