Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Angry Yoga

Many times through the years I have had students walk into my yoga class angry. Life is tough, and when you are away from your family and friends, and every second seems to bombard you with change, well there is bound to be some anger. Most, when angry, will arrive early, to sit and listen to the music, smell the lavender and maybe just talk. By the time we finish our first five minutes of breath work, the facial muscles are relaxing, the eyes soften and the anger has found a new home.

Today was a first for me, a student came in angry and left angry. It was quite interesting to experience and watch. When anger is flooding the body, there is tenseness, the shoulders hike up,
the eyes harden and the breath is quick. As the student entered the room and I saw the anger , I decided to open the class with a meditation session. Another first, I have never seen anyone hold anger during a meditation session.

We proceeded to move through the asanas(poses) , the anger was still lurking. Then came savasana, (relaxation and breathing) for ten to fifteen minutes, everyone's favorite.
The student kept moving, grunting, and looking at their watch, after about four minutes,
proceeded to get up and leave. I tiptoed out the door and ask them to please not disrupt
savasana again, boy did the anger show its ugly face.

This student wore their anger like a medal, it was obvious they felt it empowering. But you know, anger is not empowering. Anger robs you of power, the ability to reason, to think and focus. Anger courses through body creating havoc, just think about the last time you were really angry, how exhausted you were, maybe you even felt sick. Anger destroys, it creates
resentment, and eventually hate if not stopped. There was a time in my life when I dealt with
anger, and you know my anger stemmed from fear........I think all anger is born in fear.
It's not that I think you should live without emotion, but you can't let that emotion take over your life. Now, when something angers me, first I acknowledge the anger, try to figure out why
or what has created the anger, and then I begin to breathe........slowly. As always when I am honest and really look inside, fear has motivated the anger.

Resentment is anger's ugly sister. Anger hits and flares, but resentment festers and spreads.
They both are like fertilizers for hate. The old adage, if you are angry count to ten, is a great one to follow. Count to ten, take ten slow breaths, take a walk and BREATHE! The longer you hold on to the anger, the harder it is to let go, and soon it takes over your life. Negative thoughts, "bad"luck, all are by-products of anger. I believe we attract what we think, and the more anger we allow in our lives, the more negative our lives become. High blood pressure, headaches, stomach aches, it will make you sick.

I pray for wisdom before I go into my classroom, I ask to teach what I need to teach, and that I might teach with love. I know that I was not the cause of the student's anger, I just wish
that I could have helped release it. I know in my heart I can't help every one, today was a lesson reminding me of that.

1 comment:

  1. The angry student wasted their time being there. It makes me question why they didn't skip class.