It’s common to associate yoga with something calm, and with overall feelings of joy. But yoga helps us to control our breathing and bring our mind and body together through certain poses.
Some poses can trigger certain emotions, with anger being one of them, especially if you have been repressing anger for some time.
Over time, the anger affects you less, even if anger will always be a part of our life that we can’t eradicate completely and can be a useful emotion in some cases.
But when it comes to yoga, we condition ourselves to not repress what we are feeling and allow ourselves to ultimately let go, similarly to how we do with meditation.
Another reason yoga can cause anger is that the mind may not feel comfortable at first with quieting down and will resort to anything to keep us from the calm state yoga can bring us.
Emptying Your Mind
Yoga is both a physical and psychological process, more so the latter when it comes to working with our minds to make the session work. If you aren’t used to emptying your mind, you can feel a wide range of emotions and anger is one of them.
Meditation might do a better job in quieting the mind since that’s its sole focus whereas yoga also focuses on movement, but it’s a great supplement for meditation.
Now, you don’t need to include meditation to empty your mind with yoga but it can certainly give you an easier time. In some cases, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive since they share similar characteristics and benefits and nothing prevents you from meditating while doing yoga.
But depending on your level of mindfulness in the yoga or the poses you do, certain poses can trigger certain emotions, all ranging from bringing tranquility to bringing anger.
Emptying the mind is perhaps one of the hardest things to do with yoga because it’s a quest to conquer parts of yourself and it’s a reason it can take many people longer to master the practice, or at least, get past the stage where anger no longer bothers them, as a result of emptying the mind, but emptying the mind starts with acknowledgment.
Once you acknowledge the anger is there, and observe it, emptying the mind becomes easier, and thus, the yoga session becomes easier.
Opening Up With Yoga
Yoga can be a way to express ourselves on a subconscious level. If there’s a lot of anger stored inside, yoga will only open the gates for that anger to flood out, but it can feel intense for some or trigger certain memories that feed onto the anger.
And managing them might be easier said than done, but there are yogas specifically targeted toward handling anger with yoga.
At a fundamental level, it’s important to understand that anger will always be there, no matter how much yoga we do, but you can certainly become less reactive to it and thus, the less reactive you are to that anger, the less power that anger has over your session.
The release of anger from yoga can feel uncomfortable but should be taken as part of the journey, since getting good at yoga and reaping the benefits the practice has to offer isn’t a walk in the park, like some paint it out to be.
But the sooner you open up about the emotions you feel, thanks to yoga, the more you can steer your emotions in a direction that benefits you, and use any uncomfortable emotions as stepping stones to get better.
For instance, when anger is happening, try implementing principles of meditation that consist of observing the anger and acknowledging that the anger is there, rather than fighting it or outright quitting the session.
Over time, that same anger will likely diminish, and in the best-case scenario, you may reach a point where you forget it was there all along. But have an open mind and be open to the experience.
The Anger Might Be Telling You Something
Another way to interpret the anger is that it’s trying to tell you something, perhaps trying to get you to reconsider the pose you are doing, or perhaps that the particular yoga style you are doing isn’t for you.
We shouldn’t ignore how we feel during a yoga session, but it can be tricky to determine for what reason the anger is happening in this case.
But one thing you could do if you are keen on having as blissful of a yoga experience as possible is to try different styles of yoga to determine if they all make you feel the same.
The yoga you are doing might be too intense for you and the anger might be justified, you might find that the anger you are experiencing isn’t serving you a purpose, and your previous attempts of managing it took you nowhere.
You might’ve misplaced expectations from the yoga, in which case, the yoga isn’t to blame. Ideally, a good rule of thumb is to do a calm form of yoga that doesn’t include repressing emotions.
But if you find that the anger is too much for you to handle, it can be a sign that one particular style of yoga isn’t for you. But that’s just one of the many reasons and there could be countless other reasons you are experiencing anger during yoga.
You might even experience it after or before, at which point if you are experiencing it before, yoga might be the ideal antidote to manage that anger.
It’s a good idea to choose a yoga style that aligns with a goal you have, rather than doing just any yoga only because you’ve heard it’s worked for many people.
You may find that you align more with one style of yoga than another, or you might not have given a certain yoga style enough time to evaluate how it makes you feel.
Finding the yoga that’s right for you can be tricky, but I would personally always go by my gut feeling and determine if a certain style of yoga was for me or not. But before evaluating it’s good to give that yoga style a solid try rather than jumping from one yoga style to another.
It’s always best to be mindful during the yoga session since otherwise, it’d defeat the purpose, and that’s why meditation comes in handy. Since it can prevent your mind from gathering memories from the past or future as a way to escape the present which many times, the cause of anger can be attributed to.
The more mindful you are about the yoga you are doing, the easier it is to get it right and the easier it is to observe the anger to let go of it ultimately.
Enjoying The Yoga
While you may experience some anger at first when you are starting, or any emotion you might have repressed that you consider less desirable, over the long haul you want to make sure that the yoga you are doing feels purposeful and one that you are enjoying.
Anger may be a deal-breaker for you but it’s not uncommon to experience it. We also have to consider the factor that everyone is different and everyone’s yoga experience can vary. Some days you might even feel joy, and not every yoga session is guaranteed to be the same as the last.
But over time, assuming you are getting something out of the yoga and getting a feeling of progression and getting better at it overall, you should find a relatively stable mood when doing yoga.
Now, anger affects everyone, even the same yoga instructors we often look up to that appear to be in an optimal mood twenty-four-seven.
But the less you let it get in the way, the easier it is to enjoy yoga, which is easier said than done but simply pushing through could be the answer sometimes, and that’s something you may only find out either through experimentation or guided yoga.
Yoga in itself is a great way to manage the anger you are feeling and some use yoga in itself as a means to relieve their anger and let it flow out, rather than the anger staying repressed in a subconscious form, which is when the anger can be the most damaging since it can manifest in the most inopportune moments.