Have you noticed that each time you practice your yoga that you feel different, sometimes asanas come easily and sometimes not, sometimes we seem to be able to balance for eternity and other days we shake and wobble all over the place. This is largely due to our emotions and state of mind, there are deffinate links between our physical performance and our emotional state.
Swami visnudevananda says ‘ Love, hatred, anger, fear, greed, envy and jealousy are emotions of the mind. All evil qualities proceed from anger and therefore Yoga students are advised to control anger, and then all other evil qualities will then vanish by themselves. Moreover, emotions affect the endocrine glands, which are governed by the nervous system, and cause disorders in the normal functions of the internal organs.’
In fact anxiety can be the most damaging of emotions causing ulcers, depression can lead to constipation and the stomach being unable to digest food creating high toxin levels in the body, and anger high blood pressure, higher cholesterol and heart problems. Fear brings knots in the stomach increasing acidity and disorders to the nervous system. Swami Sivananda says; ‘Eradication of evil qualities within you is just like dusting away the dirt on the mirror. When the dust is removed you can see the beauty of your face in the mirror. When the evil qualities are eradicated you can see the beauty of your self in your heart.’
This week somebody made me angry an emotion I have to say I don’t think I felt for a while and it was a strange feeling, they had no intention of making me angry and probably are quite unaware of it, but my body felt tight, I lost sleep and mentally had to really watch myself. In fact I thank them for allowing me to feel this again and to be able to watch my emotions and learn how to handle them. We can really tell how far we are in our practice when we can see how well or not we handle a situation, but it is always good to know what to do to help, how we can overcome these lower emotions and turn them into positive ones. Here are some excersisies and postures that will help to release anger and bring peace;
- Sit in childs pose, bring the bottom back onto your heels and upper body resting on your thighs, make contact with the mat with your forehead and allow yourself to feel a gentle pressure at your third eye centre (point between the eyebrows.) The arms are beside the body, palms face up next to your feet. Breath deeply, breathing into your rib cage, filling the front and back ribs, have an awareness of your breath and allow the tension to release from you with every exhalation, stay there for as long as you need to.
- Sit in vajrasana (sitting back on your heels) with your spine straight. Close your eyes and allow any anger to be within you, tense your body and let that anger rise so we can get rid of it. Remain angry as you clench your fists and start punching forward one arm at a time using your breath as furiously as you like. Allow the anger energy to be consumed by your punching, use the breath to help you. Once finished lower your arms and relax still sitting on your heels, let the breath become smooth and calm, bring a soft expression on your face and allow the body to relax. Breath into your heart and feel a complete sense of release, feeling love and affection start to flow.
So remember that these lower emotions can have a detrimental effect on your body not only your mental state but also of those around you. It is through our practice that we can become more and more in control and what a lovely feeling when something happens that normally would have made you angry but now doesn’t touch you any more and peace remains.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the mat for some anger management!
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May all living beings find balance and harmony