Wisdom What Yoga Philosophy Says About Getting Angry

What Yoga Philosophy Says About Getting Angry


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In our advice column, called Wolf Wisdom, Wolf Terry, a Bhakti Yoga teacher and writer in Denver, Colorado, answers your pressing questions about practicing asana, meditation, mantra, and more. In this post, she covers how even spiritual people can get mad sometimes.

Relationship issue #2: I get impatient and/or angry about our issues instead of discussing them.

Dear Wolf,

During an argument recently, someone asked me, “How can you get so mad when you practice yoga? Isn’t yoga about cultivating inner peace?” Where did this “spiritual people don’t get mad” stereotype come from, and how would you respond?

Sincerely :: Not Mother Teresa

Dear Not Mother Teresa,

There is a popular meme floating around the Interwebs that reads, “It’s funny when people think ‘yoga people’ are supposed to be calm. No. We’re all here because we’re nuts.”

Spiritual people—like all people—get mad. But social conditioning tells us that expressing any emotions other than contentment threatens to make other people uncomfortable. Even within the yoga community, emotions that don’t solely exhibit peace, love, gratitude, and joy are often stigmatized.

I view these perceptions as misinterpretations of the sutras, yamas, and niyamas because they completely overlook the transformational processes necessary to help you find contentment through accepting the whole of who you are-—the light and the dark.

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