Anger

Releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Yoga Twisting Postures  

by Annie Au

In this modern world, we as human beings are often trapped in the pendulum of love and hate. As we may have experienced, the flip side of love is a raging river of anger and jealousy, flowing through us often unapologetically. Based on the meridian system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), love flows through the Heart meridian while anger runs in the Liver meridian. When our Heart and Liver energies are balanced, we express compassion to all beings and are passionate about life. Conversely when energy stagnates in these channels, our heart and liver contract replacing love with explosive anger and irritation.

Interestingly, there is an essential muscle that connects the anatomical heart and liver in our body. This critical muscle is our diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is the primary muscle that the body uses when breathing. The top part of the diaphragm is connected to a small sac called the pericardium, which protects and holds the heart in place. The bottom part of the diaphragm is connected to the liver. According to the meridian system, promoting healthy flow of energy in the actual organ as well as its orbs of energetic influence is absolutely crucial in maintaining health and wellness.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

 

Twisting postures help release tension in the diaphragm. Sequentially, by releasing the diaphragm, we also indirectly massage and soften the heart and liver. As you try out these poses, visualize all the negative thoughts and emotions exiting the body. In return, the vacated negative emotions are replaced by contentment and joy.

Reclining twists (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Keep the right arm parallel to the shoulder and the head facing the ceiling.

 

*Keep the head facing the ceiling helps prevent blood stop in the arteries along the neck. This is especially important in yin yoga practice where we hold a posture for several minutes.

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

 

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Cat Pulling Its Tail (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Bend the left knee and kick it back towards the buttock. Hold the left ankle with your right hand. Use a strap if necessary.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Restorative Side Twist  (6-8minutes per side)

This posture is more restorative than Yin. Sit sideways like a mermaid. Place a bolster or pillow against the hip. Slowly twist the torso towards the bolster and lay down on it. This is a more gentle twist and can hold for several minutes.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 6-8 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

You can infuse these postures in your regular yoga practice or practice 1-2 postures above before bed.

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

by Charlie Morley

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

 

Forgiving a person for something that they did wrong can either be very easy or extremely difficult, it all depends on the situation. For example, forgiving your spouse because they forgot to buy milk is a lot easier than having to forgive a cheating partner.

Quite simply, the act of forgiving might not always be easy, however, regardless of other's actions, forgiveness can be a very important step to take in order to move on to the next stage in your life.

 

A lack of forgiveness can foster anger, anxiety and ultimately a whole host of other negative thoughts and feelings that could have severe effects on your mental well-being.

Fortunately, regular meditation nurtures mindfulness, as well as a host of other qualities including gratitude, which in return goes hand in hand with forgiveness.

Let's take a closer look at how being mindful through meditation can help you to be become a more forgiving person and how you can incorporate a short forgiveness practice in your everyday routine.

 

Name it

Identifying the source of your anger is the first step on your journey of forgiveness. It is difficult to forgive if you don’t know who to forgive and why.

With the help of meditation and being mindful of the situation you can clear up the question of who and why. Write it down in order to make it even clear if needed.

 

Flip your focus

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

Meditation creates a space where you are able to process all of the relevant information in your mind without any outside influence or judgment.

Over reaction and premature assumptions are often times the main causes of anger. 

Place yourself in the other parties shoes, try to understand why the acted the way they did. Understanding their point of view, or their way of thinking will go a long way in the process of forgiveness.

 

Take action (baby steps are ok)

Confronting the person that wronged you can be very intimidating, taking action doesn’t imply that you have to do this, start small instead.

 

Take action by doing small deeds that empower you.

Regular mindfulness meditation is a great example of how to take action and empowering yourself. It is a lot easier to forgive when you feel empowered and confident within yourself. 

 

Find meaning through your pain

With the help of mindfulness meditation it is possible to find meaning through your pain.

Through meditation you are able to think about your pain in a clear and objective space and learn from what went wrong, you might find that this will foster empathy and understanding in the long run.

 

Guided forgiveness meditation practice:

 

Step 1 - Think of someone who has caused you harm, or someone that you may hold a grudge against.

 

Step 2 - Visualize the time that you were hurt by this person, feel the pain and emotions that this hurt brought about

 

Step 3 - Be aware of how you body starts to feel, focus on your anxiety levels, heart rate etc.

 

Step 4 - Now ask yourself the question, who is really suffering from this? Is it you? Or is it the person that you are holding the grudge against?

 

Step 5 - Are you ready to forgive this person and remove this pain from your heart and mind? It is ok if the answer is no, but if you are ready then acknowledge this pain and also acknowledge to yourself that you are willing to forgive and free yourself from this burden.

 


Author - Charlie Morley

Charlie enjoys both yoga and meditation and incorporating both as part of his morning routine is something that he strives for everyday. Outside of work, Charlie enjoys sports and other social gatherings. Follow his spiritual journey at Kenshō way.


 

Your Emotional Self-Care Guide in Yin Yoga

Your Emotional Self-Care Guide in Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is not just a physical practice. Often when practicing Yin yoga, we can traverse deep into our emotional processing that no other styles of yoga can take us to.

Why is that?

First of all, Yin yoga forces us to be still. And for some people, this stillness can be excruciatingly painful. Quite often when we are dealing with unresolved emotions (such as anger and sadness), we tend to pack our schedule with activities, appointments, chores and so on to occupy our minds to avoid confronting our emotional discomforts. Secondly, when holding a posture for a long time (like we do in Yin), we stimulate the energetic channels also known as meridians throughout the body. This consistently held pressure in the meridians act like acupressure and ultimately removes energetic stagnation in the channels upon release of the pose. Energetic stagnation can manifest in physical forms such as body pains, headaches, insomnia, and indigestion; or the stagnation can transform into negative emotions like jealousy, frustration, indecisiveness, paranoia, and depression.

Our well-buried emotions can surface up in different ways. Here are a few examples:

- An unexpected but intense emotional reaction such as anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety.

- A special memory or image from the past flashing before you. This memory/image can be something from childhood, past relationships, or a dream.

- You feel claustrophobic, nauseous, or anxious and feel the need to escape your practice.

- Uncontrollable crying and often the cause is unknown or from unresolved past relationships/events.

- You may feel an insurmountable sense of fear as if your life is threatened.

These are just a few of the many examples that you may experience during a Yin yoga practice. It is important to know that even the smallest hint of unease feeling deserves your attention. It is an opportunity to scope into your internal landscape- a reflection of your emotional wellbeing.

So now, the question is- what should you do when you experience an intense emotional release during practice? Below are a few suggestions that can help with your emotional processing:

 

1. Journaling

Writing down what you felt during the practice helps you remember and reflect later on. Describe in details what sort of feelings came up in practice- was it sadness, terror, frustration, or grief? Did you recall any special memory such as from childhood or a significant moment from your adolescent/adulthood? After a few entries, you may discover a pattern, and you can use the pattern to navigate what is it from the past or the present you are suppressing.

 

2. Acupressure, Qi Gong or Massage Therapy

Often we can clear up energetic stagnation through touch and sound. Acupressure and massage therapy are excellent ways to calm the body and restore mental peace. You should seek a well-trained therapist with whom you feel safe and connected to. As well, Qi Gong is a subtle Chinese energy practice that helps cultivate positive energy, increase blood circulation and sharpen mental focus. Qi Gong also uses sound vibration to release negative emotions.

 

3. Nature Walk

Taking a walk in nature helps bring balance in our body and mind. The fresh air and new perspective help us expand our mental horizon and ease our mind from obsessive thinking. As you take a leisurely stroll in nature, examine in details your surroundings and enjoy the present moment.

 

4. Nourishing food and plenty of sleep

It takes a tremendous amount of energy for emotional processing. Nourish yourself with nutritious food/drinks and get plenty of sleep. Avoid cold food/drinks, spicy food, coffee, and alcohol.

 

5. Solitude

After an intense release, you might feel extremely sensitive to people, light, smell, and sound. As best as you can, spend some time alone in silence. Witness your thoughts, body sensations, and feelings without any disruptions. Practicing silence is a great way to restore energy and gain a new perspective on our state of being.

Although the experience of emotion releases can be uncomfortable, nonetheless, it’s a golden opportunity for us to release any suppressed negativity. In Chinese medicine, diseases come from repressed emotions. Our emotional health is vital for living a long and healthy life. Yin yoga is an excellent gateway in finding balance from the inside out.