Just as the body can get overheated, so too can the mind and heart. Emotions like anger, frustration, and jealousy are viewed in the Chinese medicine system as hot (or yang) emotions.
These emotions aren’t bad or wrong—they’re generally asking for a response of some kind. For example, there could be an injustice that needs addressing or perhaps an old trauma that is rising in order to heal. Maybe it’s time to leave a relationship or perhaps you’re being called to advocate for yourself or someone else. But if you act before you’ve fully digested the emotions, it’s possible you’ll regret your words or actions later.
Though yoga classes in the West do honor both yin and yang energies, most styles place more emphasis on increasing heat—and therefore yang energy—through engaging muscle. In life situations when more heat is the last thing you need, you can turn instead to a dedicated and cooling yin yoga session.
Three Yin Yoga Poses to Cool Anger, Frustration, and Jealousy
The trinity of postures below will target the outer hips and thighs, through which the liver and gallbladder (the yang partner to the liver) meridians flow. The liver is the holding place of hot emotions like anger and frustration. It is also responsible for digesting our lives and overseeing the healthy and continuous flow of energy throughout the body. This session will provide you with the space and opportunity to name, tame, and free any reactive patterns, resulting in more mindful decisions.
[Read: “The Spiritual Meaning of Pain in the Liver and Gallbladder.”]
Additionally, these postures will:
- Get stagnant chi moving to and through the liver for detoxification
- Reduce migraines and refine the thinking process
- Release tightness in the hips, easing sciatic pain