Why Do I Feel So Angry After A Yoga Class?

I'd been feeling very irritated with someone lately, so I thought yoga would be just the thing to steady me. My dosha is pitta, so I can be prone to fiery feelings and can easily get out of balance. I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to stay unruffled. Yoga is essential for me.

Instead, I walked out of the class feeling furious; quite frankly, I just really, really wanted to rush to this person’s office and punch him in the face. I also noticed that I had even stronger-than-usual reactions to everything, including television commercials.

I’m a highly sensitive empath, so it’s not at all unusual for me to sob during Camel Pose or even burst into uncontrollable laughter during a particularly intense Kundalini Core Series. But anger? That was new for me, and I was honestly shocked.

Those negative emotions shouldn’t be such a surprise, though, and they’re usually not even a bad thing. It just means those feelings are coming to the surface and you can deal with them, finally reaching that blissful, serene, tranquil and happy state.

Pay attention, though, because here are five reasons that yoga class might not make you feel so peaceful at times:

1. Mindfulness

Yoga makes us stop, reflect, and really pay attention to our minds, bodies and spirit.

Many of us tend to bury subconscious feelings, which can be pretty easy to do so when we’re so involved in our hectic, day-to-day lives. When you just brush off a feeling, however, it has a way of just becoming bigger and bigger until you feel like exploding.

Frustration is an inevitable part of life, so it’s better to pay attention and deal with it — before you blow up.

2. Breathing

Deep breathing helps us get into poses and calms us, sometimes people rush through poses so quickly that the breathing actually becomes shallow and quick, causing racing hearts, pounding heads and stress. Keep in mind also that there are different types of breaths, including cooling and warming ones, so talk to your instructor if you have questions.

3. Energy

We often go for long periods harboring toxic emotions and pent-up negative thoughts. When the toxins move, we become aware and can release them.

4. Yoga styles

I discussed my feelings of anger with an instructor who was originally scheduled to teach an Ashtanga class. It was a dark and rainy holiday morning and I ended up being the only one, so she suggested we go with a more gentle style, one that utilized cooling breaths. It would be much better and more healing for me, she said.

5. Poses 

Be aware that some emotions can be magnified by various poses. For instance, core poses are connected to the third chakra, and that chakra is related to the element of fire. (Hmm, on that day, I did a lot of Navasanas and Chaturanga Dandasanas — I even stayed after class so I could do extra. Need I say more?) Forward bends represent looking within, while back bends symbolize embracing life and its challenges.

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