It is said that anger is just one letter short of danger! Anger is an extremely negative emotion and is manifested in different forms – frustration, outrage, jealousy, hatred and sometimes even in the form of indifference and boredom. Anger is an emotion that is built up and then it subsequently recedes.
However, at times the anger may be latent in some people, especially if the root cause for one’s anger remains unresolved. Whatever the cause for anger, it is negative emotion and it is therefore important to learn to manage anger. When we are calm we can think clearly and anger only serves to cloud our decisions and this can have disastrous effects.
Common yoga asanas or postures to control anger are the Sarvang Asana or the shoulder stand, the Ardha Dhanur Asana or the Half Bow Pose, the Gupta Padmasan or the Hidden Lotus Pose and the Corpse Pose or Shavasan.
The Sarvang Asana or the Shoulder stands helps increase the blood flow to the upper part of the body especially the neck, shoulders, and head. This makes it an effective asana to reduce stress and eliminate feelings of anger. To perform this asana you need to lie on the floor with your legs together and arms close to the body. Gradually you must lift you legs straight up above you. Then slowly lift you hips up as well and as you lift them up as high as possible support your hips with your hands. Try and keep your legs as vertical as possible and your shoulders close to your body.
The Ardha Dhanur Asana or the Half Bow pose stretches the entire body and provides a feeling of relaxation. To perform this yoga asana you need to lie on your stomach. Keep you legs together. Place your chin on the floor and look straight ahead. Place your right arm in front of you on the floor. Slowly bend the left knee and with you left hand hold the ankle of your left leg. Slowly lift your left thigh as high as possible. You will find that your head starts to lift up as your body stretches.
The gupta padmasan or the hidden lotus pose is excellent for relaxation. To perform the gupta padmasana you need to first get into the padmasana pose or the Lotus pose. Once you are comfortably positioned in the padmasana pose, you need to lift yourself up with the help of your arms and hands. In this position, your body weight will fall on your knees. Once you do this you need to bend your body forward and place your chin on the floor. Your arms should be behind your back with your palms touching each other in a “praying” posture. Place your hands as high up as possible on your back. Some people can even touch the back of their head with their fingers.
Shavasana or the corpse pose as the name suggests, requires you to be as still as a corpse. You need to clear your mind of all thoughts and you need to breathe deeply. However trying to be this calm can be quite a tough task for a lot of people. Yet, if this asana is performed well and regularly, it gives you a deep sense of relaxation. You need to lie down on your back. Keep your legs slightly apart, your arms beside your body with the palms facing the sky. Eyes must be closed and facial muscles need to be totally relaxed. You can auto-direct yourself to gradually relax your body from head to toe. Start from the top of the head and very slowly go down till the tips of your toes. Every muscle in the body must be relaxed.
Whatever be the yoga pose one performs, it is important to exercise a lot of caution. Wrongly performing an asana may only lead to an injury. It is also important to follow the right breathing pattern while performing yoga asanas. To start with, the guidance of a yoga expert must be sought. Then with eventual mastery of the asanas, they can be performed alone. Regular practice of these asanas and yoga in general helps calms the mind and body and consequently helps us de-stress and remain focused.
Apart from the yoga postures, pranayam or the deep breathing techniques in yoga may also be included in your daily exercise regimen. It is said that counting from one to ten when angry helps the anger to subside or at least helps to prevent destructive behavior due to anger. Similarly, practicing deep breathing or pranayam brings about peace of mind and inner tranquility. Sheetali pranayam is one such breathing technique to calm the mind.
Meditation is also very beneficial for anger management. Antar mouna or inner silence meditation is one form of meditation that can be used to calm the mind. Once we can master the art of meditation, our body and mind are in perfect harmony.
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