ANGER: HONORING A TABOO EMOTION (RAUDRA RASA)

Article by Anne Davis

Photo by RapidEye/iStock / Getty Images

The Anger Rasa, or Raudra Rasa, is a complex one. While the Anger Rasa is traditionally labeled as a destructive rasa, it’s also taught that anger must be acknowledged and expressed rather than repressed. Anger needs a little physic air so that it can dissipate. Walking the line between healthy expression and negative, anger-based actions is challenging, but working with the Anger Rasa can cultivate healthy awareness and clearing, articulate expression.   

Where Raudra Rasa Resides:

Anger - like nearly all emotions - manifests itself as much physically as it does mentally.  Anger surges as a fire in our belly (and our ears, head, and hands).  When anger arises, we may feel a lump in our throat or a pounding in our chest. TheAnger Rasa can ignite if we feel threatened in some way: if our security feels compromised, our expectations are unfulfilled, or if our sense of self is dismissed.

The Anger Rasa is a stirring within the ego. It rises when things don’t line up. What is surprising about anger is its power to create or purify.  And we can harness it.

The powerful energy of the anger rasa can find an appropriate temporary residence in your core. This Manipura Chakra (or third chakra) is centered directly above your solar plexus and is the physical manifestation of your personal power.  Anatomically, the solar plexus wraps around the middle of our being and serves as the epicenter of our physical body. 

Take It To The Mat:  Working With Raudra Rasa In Your Practice

If you are looking to harness the fire in your core, you may:

  • Focus on Third Chakra asanas, such as:
    • Twists
    • Core/Ab work
    • Arm Balances like Crow or Crane
  • Practice Surya Mudra - Place the tip of the ring finger to the base of the thumb, just below the last joint. Gently press the thumb on top of the ring finger to secure it. Extend the other fingers. This mudra harnesses the energy of the sun.
  • Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow’s Breath) – This vigorous pranayama lights up the internal fire of the body.  The word refers to a bellow which is used to stoke a fire which is also what it does within the body.  This breath work consists of a forced inhale as well as forced exhale. This breath awakens Kundalini energy in the body.

Take it Off the Mat: 

  • Move your body and spirit through lip-synching in the car or into your hairbrush during your morning routine. 
  • Open your mouth and chant “Om Nama Shivaya” (honoring the deity…)
  • Use Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, anise, and lemon
  • Harness your creativity by wearing red, or help to cool your fire with blues

You can’t stop yourself from feeling a feeling. Work with it. Notice what comes up. Anger can be our guide as we move towards living a more authentic life. Move, breathe, be.

You got this.