Yoga for Trauma Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Quick Tools for Anger

15 min - Practice
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Kyra guides us in a practice where we explore our relationship with anger as a natural emotion and energy in the body. We work to mobilize this energy with quick tools to help us touch into our internal experience and sensations.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Wall

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(ocean wave) Welcome. These are some quick tools to deal with working with a lot of energy in your system, like that of anger. Anger's not always the most socially accepted emotion to have, depending on what your cultural background is or your country. Or even like, if you're a yoga practitioner, what's your relationship to anger and is it even okay to have? I'm gonna argue that anger is actually a very natural and healthy emotion to have.

I mean, it can be life protecting, right? In the case of something that's actually a threat to you, mobilizing this anger to actually get you out of a dangerous situation, is fantastic. But unless we're in that dangerous situation at the moment, we don't want those emotions to be exploding out onto other people or turning in on ourselves. Touching into these emotions can be scary and feel overwhelming. But if we don't address them, they can cause us to react in really unconscious, not so great ways.

The tools today are gonna help you touch into your internal experience and maybe start to harness some of this energy, so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. So the first part of working with anger is just to see how it shows up in your system. Take a moment to notice yourself in your seat or standing, depending on where you are. And just see what's actually here. What do you notice that feels tight or hot.

Do you get the sense that you want to kick or punch or claw something. It's okay to have those urges. Just notice what the urges are without the judgment. And now see if you can locate what part of the body, if any, has kinda of the most charge. Is it your feet?

Or your belly? Or your arms or your face? We're actually gonna start from the bottom up with these tools. So feel free to go with which ever one works the best for you. Let's start with the legs, alright?

Especially if there's a lot of charge, either in the stomach or the lower body, we're gonna put a little bit more pressure into it. So try coming to a seated position, or like on a chair. And you can spread the toes and then really just push the feet into the floor. I've got my hands on my thighs and I'm actually pressing down a little bit as well. And we're gonna go into this for another five, four, and just really go with the muscles, three, two, one.

And then backing off. And again, remember fast is slow, so just slow down and see this response. How's the breath now? Did the muscles, are they feeling as tight, or have they shifted to a little tighter. Let's try that one more time.

You're gonna spread your feet, as if you're trying to make deep imprints or maybe even kick through something. Feel free to go, go, go, go, go, use your legs, and whatever comes to mind, whatever you're visualizing is okay, just keep the breath, keep pressing, five, four, three, two, and then come on up, one. When you do these tools, the rebound is just as important as actual action. So even though it might not feel like you're doing much, bring your mind's awareness to how the system is processing this. Does something get fluid, tingly, flowy, open, warm?

Now, we're gonna actually start to shift up and use our arms, okay? So come on up to standing and try to find a wall. Locking the body out is not very stable, so make sure the body stays unlocked in order to be able to access your power. So let's bring the hands actually to the wall, just about at chest height, right? And then take a step back.

And bend the knees, and I personally like to bring one foot in front of the other, so I have some momentum going forward. We're gonna push, as if you're trying to push over the wall. Just get that primal. When you push though, it's really more effective just to use the strength from below, from the legs and from the guts, and to have the chest upright, rather than to be collapsed. So if it's available to you, allow yourself to access this lower body just by standing more upright and bending the knees a little.

Bend your elbows and then go ahead and push, push, push and really imagine you're trying to break down the walls. Five, four, three, two and then release. What I'm noticing is that there's more breath, there's kind of a river of energy going down through my fingers, I feel more electricity in my face. And I kinda feel more sense of myself. Some of that might ring true for you.

Just check in and see what is actually authentic for you. Let's do that one more time. Go ahead and push, hands at the wall and go, and feel free to allow yourself to really destroy something with this energy. Get the energy out of yourself so it doesn't go onto someone else and it doesn't hurt you from inside out. Five, four, three, two, all of your energy, and then release, release, release, one.

Take in a moment, see if you can feel your feet on the floor. Okay, any time any of these exercises are too intense for you, go back to the resource, go back to the ground, do your orienting. Now if you're still feeling a lot of energy or just like the whole body is really triggered, the next two exercises might be helpful. Since we're at the wall, let's use this. We're gonna come into a chair position, seated at the wall.

And you're gonna use the legs, so come down as low as you need to, but just for protection of your knees, make sure your feet aren't too far behind your knees, but rather directly below the knees or slightly in front. And then just as you've done with the last two exercises, push the back into the wall, push the legs, see if you can even use your abdominals to press in both directions. Notice if you can still breath and feel your strength, five, four, three, two, hands on the wall, push yourself away and come on up. Yes. Now, what if any image comes to mind of empowerment, strength, that's it, of stability.

And as you think of that, track your inner experience. How does it feel to kind of embody. Okay. We're gonna again work with all the energy of pushing with the whole body as we come down to the floor. So give yourself enough room. And we'll come down onto the forearms.

Move your knees back so they're behind your hips, rather than right under the hips, okay? Interlace your fingers and just check out your elbows so they're under the shoulders. Now either remain here and again, not collapsed in chest, but reaching forward. Or stretch your legs straight. And then go, push into the earth, push through your heels into the crown of the head, draw the muscles in towards the center of the body, notice if anything right now feels strong or stable, connected, five, four, three, two, drop the knees, sit back.

Yes. Feel free to do this as many times as you need. I'd actually recommend only two or three times, is usually enough to kind of move some of the excess energy out and remind us of a sense of center inside. So let's come up to a comfortable seated position. You can do this on the floor. Or in a chair. We've worked with the energy, like the tightness from the belly, the chest, the arms, the legs, oftentimes it goes up to the jaw and the face.

So we're gonna do two different, or there's two different exercises you can use to work with that. The first one is just tightening and releasing the jaw. Now usually just a little bit of extra energy into this muscle system is enough. So we're only gonna hold this for four seconds. But when you feel ready, give your jaw or your teeth a little extra clench, four, three, two, one and then release.

Give it time. This might actually have a bubbling effect of going up through your eyes, your vision, you might be tingling. Again if it feels too much, do your orienting, come back to your feet. If trembling starts to happen, would it be okay to just stay curious and allow it to happen. Take all the time you need to do this.

If you need a little bit more, you're still feeling a lot of tension there, consider doing it one more time. Okay, so the last exercise in this group will be lion's breath. And it's nice because we get to work with kind of a symbolic release of breath, or kind of getting rid of some of the crap we're holding in our system through the breath. But also being able to work with the jaw muscles. We'll do it two times.

The first time is just an inhale, exhale, you stick out your tongue and you roll your eyes up and you pretend like you're a lion. And just get it out, get whatever sort of crud you've digested or had to take in this last week or month or lifetime, out. The second time, we'll take an inhale, we'll exhale, (roars), stick out the tongue, but as you start to rebound, allow your jaw to squeeze and contort and pretend like it's biting something. Like really just even go there, pretend like it's taking a big ole bite, right, to work those muscles. I'm gonna do it with you.

Remember, I can't see what you're doing. I don't think anybody else can. And no one's gonna care if you make funny faces. So see if you can let go of that if it's an issue for you. Whenever you're ready, let's take a deep breath in, and roar it out.

(roars) Inhale, and normal exhale. That may have been enough. If you want to go into more of the muscles of the jaw and the neck and the throat, let's try the next variation. So deep breath in, roar it out (roars), and then squeeze and bite, slow motion, and let go, notice any sort of twitches or tingles that may be going through your body. How's the stomach or the heart?

You have all the time in the world to allow this to unfold. Take your time. And even though I might sound like a broken record, if any of this feels too activating or irritating, come back to the resources, feel yourself connected here, take a couple of deep breaths. May this help you in the future.

Comments

3 people like this.
Thank you, Kyra. I love and appreciate these tools.
1 person likes this.
Today this served me well. There were a lot of emotions - but anger among them (kind of buried...), that I've been carrying. This is helping me to find a healthy release... thank you, Kyra.

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