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The Purpose of Yoga - Anger Management Secrets of Pranayama and Mindfulness

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Dec 11, 2007
How come some Yogis seem so even tempered? How do Yoga practitioners manage to establish control over fits of anger? Will any Yoga technique help those who become physically violent? Let's look at some Yogic methods to empower you to take control of your feelings and anger.

Pranayama for Anger Management

Yogic breathing techniques (Pranayama) are highly underrated by the public at large. Among the many powers of Pranayama is the ability to release anger and tension from within your body and mind. Yoga teachers guide their students in a number of Pranayama techniques.

Here is a sample of a Pranayama technique, which you can use for anger management. Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Do this four times, without making any noise, before you say a word.

You should learn to do this so quietly, a person standing next to you would not know. Eventually, you will be able to do this for a much longer time span, which is fine. The one to two ratio of inhale to exhale will expel your anger and rid your body of toxins.

This breathing pattern is sometimes called the "4-7-8 breath," but it can also be modified for people who can not breathe as deep. For example: You can modify this Pranayama to - inhale for two seconds, hold for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds.

This breathing sequence is a "2-4-4 breath." The one to two ratio of inhale to exhale has still been maintained, but the sequence has been modified for those who have a shallow breath. When possible, the breath can be lengthened as the lungs get used to harnessing the air flow.

Extended breath retention may have to be modified to meet your needs. In the case of dizziness, pregnancy, high blood pressure, and breathing disorders, you should consult with a physician before practicing breathing techniques.

Mindfulness for Anger Management

In Yoga, mindfulness is a basic principle for rational thinking. Mindfulness is when you are intentionally aware of your surroundings. You are "in the moment," and judgment or intolerance will not distort your view.

Many people make excuses for temper tantrums and fits of anger. In some cases, there is a medical reason, and the services of a competent physician, or psychiatrist, should be sought as soon as possible.

However, the vast majority of people do make excuses. Here is an example of how people make excuses in regard to anger management. Let's say, you are a dog lover and your dog is your most loyal friend in the world. You come home one day, and your dog ate your favorite suit.

Your particular reaction determines the amount of emotional control you really have. People will forgive their pets, loved ones, and their children for many things, but they will not control their anger out in public. They drive through traffic daily, with the mind set of a battle-hardened war veteran, and an "us against them" survivalist mentality.

Now, if you would have physically beaten your most loyal friend in the world for eating your favorite suit, you really do need professional help right now. This is a simple concept because your suit can be replaced, but a valuable friendship cannot be replaced so easily.

Anger, without control, will destroy friendships, families, and much more. You could even find yourself in prison over one fit of anger. Mindfulness teaches us to see the "big picture," and the consequences of our actions.

Emotional health is addressed in Yoga classes, and a good emotional state exists in harmony, with physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Copyright 2007 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

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