“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Dealing with anger is far from easy though. And like HULK in the Avenger Movies, ‘I am always ANGRY.’
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC), anger and compassion are two sides of the same coin. If we practice to move past our initial reactivity, we can respond to what provoked our anger with more kindness, compass, and skill.
In TCM, all major emotions are associated with a certain organ and its respective meridians (an invisible network of energy channels connecting the entire body). According to TCM, anger corresponds with the liver. Holding onto anger may compromise our liver’s ability to fulfill its task as our major gland and detoxifier. This may express itself in fatigue, digestion issues, abdominal pain, nausea, and blurred vision. Vice versa, a compromised liver function can lead prolonged frustration.
The following Yin Yoga sequence is designed to support you in times when you feel grumpy, frustrated, or furious. It’s meant to stimulate the liver meridians, running from the top of the big toes, up the inner leg lines, through the groin and into the liver and gallbladder.
Bringing ourselves back into our bodies can support us when the going gets tough, so we can learn to stay tender and soft in the face of anger. And eventually, learn to respond, not to react to it.
Not all poses are suitable for everybody, especially when dealing with specific injuries and conditions. Move out of a pose immediately if you experience any pain, stabbing, tingling, electrical sensations, or numbness. Go only as far as feels sustainable and workable for you.
Holding times are jut recommendations. You can always come out of a pose earlier or stay longer, if that’s what your body is asking for. Take time to transition between poses.
Grounding with wide-legged Child’s Pose (5 minutes)
From a kneeling position, with your toes touching, spread your knees as far apart as feels workable. Look for a stretch through the inner leg lines and groin. Let your upper body melt onto thighs and your forehead rest on your forearms, a block, or the floor.
Sphinx (5 minutes)
From Child’s Pose slide onto your belly. Prop yourself up onto your forearms with elbows shoulder width apart. You are looking for a mild compression in the lower back and an opening through the front body. To decrease intensity, walk your further away from you. Or bring your forearms higher for an increase. Bring your awareness to your breath softly moving the belly. To release, lower back down and rest for a few breaths.
Dragonfly (5 minutes)
Slowly come back up to a seated position and spread your legs out. If your lower back is sensitive, sit up on a folded blanket or a block. Take your legs as wide apart as comfortably possible. Fold forward in between your legs, allowing gravity and time to slowly take you deeper.
To come out, slowly roll up and hold your legs together with your hands. Come to butterfly pose to ease the stretch.
Dragon Cycle (3/2/1 minutes on each side)
From hands and knees step the right foot forward to the outside of your hand for Baby Dragon. Walk the front (left) foot out to the left, turning the toes out slightly. Stay up on your hands for 3 minutes and transition to Dragon flying Low onto your forearms. Let the hips sink heavily towards the floor and stay up to 2 minutes. Continue by rolling onto the outer edge of your front (left) foot and place the left hand on the left knee to a Twisted Dragon. Stay for one minutes and then switch sides.
Shoelace (3 to 4 minutes each side)
From hands and knees cross your right knee behind your left. Spread your feet apart to sit down in between your heels for shoelace pose. Maybe elevate your hips with a block or blanket. To release your hips after Shoelace, sit down with your knees bet, feet mat width apart, hands behind your back and, chest lifted. Switch the crossing of your shins to change sides.
Reclined Twists (3 to 4 minutes each side)
Lay down onto your back and hug both knees into your check. Bring your arms out to the side like the letter T and let your knees drop to the right side, stacking your hips on top of each other. Your head can turn either way depending on the comfort of your neck. Switch side by rolling to the other side.
Corpse Pose (Savansana)
Make yourself as comfortable as you can . You can lie on your back, maybe with a support under your head and knees. Or curl up on either side, if that feels more comfortable.
Bring a gentle awareness to those body parts that are in close contact with the quiet ground beneath you. Allow yourself to rest in stillness for as long as you can.