When practiced regularly and with dedication, you can do wonders for your anger with pranayama breathing techniques.
Yoga breathing exercises are a powerful self-healing tool for mending heartbreak, diffusing anger, and taking action. When you are angry, it’s easy to forget about your heart. Give a little attention to your heart. Relax it by infusing it with the gift of love.
How to Make Anger Your Best Friend with Yoga Breathing Exercises
Imagine that you can approach anger differently.
Can you imagine that you can express how you feel, feel better, satisfy your needs, be heard, and be understood, and all this—at the same time?
A great place to start is the insight that no one else is responsible for your anger.
Anger is often a by-product of evaluating, judging, and coloring others.
When you get angry, you think that someone else needs to do something different or better or behave differently. Perhaps you see others for something else than what they are.
In the heat of the anger, you are not aware of your expectations. Nonetheless, at the moment of taking full responsibility on your part, you have already done more than half of the job.
Own your anger, and own your expectations. Understand how expectations and entitlement contribute to your anger.
Anger is an indicator of what truly matters to you. Use fury for action and not for drowning in its caustic clutch. Anger is a tricky emotion because of the encapsulated energy that can be ravaging or transformational.
Yoga breathing exercises enable steady progress in addressing your angry energy and directing it towards growth.
As with every overwhelming emotion, when you forget how to breathe, succumbing to anger is convenient, almost comfortable. Conscious breathing is one way to flow with anger instead of letting it control you.
Nadi Shodhana Breathing Exercise to Cope with Anger
We rarely breathe well, except for when we are in a deep, calm sleep. Proper breathing takes the air out of the lungs completely.
Most of us do not do that. As a result, the lungs are full of waste materials, and they make the body tired and slow.
More Oxygen for Your Liver and Spleen
Regular breathing helps with the elimination of these materials through better circulation in the spleen and the liver. Both organs are responsible for cleaning the body from old red blood cells, undigested food, and toxic chemicals. Instead of spreading harmful materials through the body, complete yoga breathing helps getting this waste out of the organism. It also ensures nutrients are adequately transported where needed the most.
Engage Both Brain Hemispheres
The yoga breathing exercise, known as Nadi Shodhana, is an optimal yoga technique for managing anger, as it simultaneously helps in the activation of both brain hemispheres.
Our nostrils activate and deactivate consecutively, usually at a frequency of a few hours each.
If you put your palm close to the nose and strongly exhale, you can notice which side of the brain is more active. The one with more air wind pressure is the active one. When the left nostril is congested, the brain’s right side—the creative mind—is more involved. When the right nostril is blocked, the brain’s left side—the side of the mental logic— is more active.
Alternate breathing through both nostrils renews the natural energy flow through both nostrils and, in turn, the two hemispheres.
To breathe with full lung capacity, and engage the rational and the irrational mind, practice three separate breathing in and out stages.
Simple Step-by-Step Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
Each stage comes just after the previous one. Avoid rash movements and do the full breathing movement in a single cycle. Here is how to this famous and popular breathing exercise:
- Gently put your index finger and middle finger on the spot between your eyebrows.
- Exhale completely, letting your abdomen contract below your ribs.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb, and inhale through the left nostril for 4 seconds (or as comfortably you feel in your full yoga breathing cycle).
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger, and, keeping both nostrils closed, retain the fresh air in your lungs for 7 seconds. Do air retention only if it feels comfortable.
- Release the right nostril and breathe out from it, counting for 8 seconds.
- Keeping the left nostril closed, inhale through the right nostril, counting for 4 seconds.
- Close the right nostril with your ring finger, and, keeping both nostrils closed, retain the fresh air in your lungs for 7 seconds. Again, retain air only if it feels comfortable.
- Release the left nostril and breathe out from it, counting for 8 seconds.
- Restart the cycle from step 3.
Inhale and exhale in a smooth circular rhythm, and don’t forget to do it mindfully.
Nadi Shodhana has multiple benefits, two of which are: it purifies your energetic channels and settles your feminine and masculine aspects (archetypes). Many call it the 4-7-8 breathing exercise because of the generalized rule to inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
You don’t need to follow the 4-7-8 rule blindly; the crucial bit is to double up the exhaling time. Do as you find accommodating for your lung capacity.
The benefits of yoga breathing exercises multiply when accompanied by meditation techniques.
“Smile of the Heart” Yoga Meditation
Sit comfortably and make sure your spine is straight. Close your eyes shortly and think of something beautiful in nature.
Imagine a quiet summer day in the country, poplars gently swaying in the breeze, and the sun shining brightly. The space around your heart feels warm and well-rested.
Let this awareness put a smile on your face. Bask in the sun and absorb the beauty of nature. Then, allow for your feelings to transcend the smiling joy.
Let your heart start bursting with good intentions, love, compassion, and gratitude.
While using the full yoga breathing technique, mentally send these feelings to all parts of your body. Keep the sunny smile in your whole body for as long as you feel comfortable.