Breaking Down Angers Doors

Karen PhotoToday’s guest blog is by Karen Janowsky.  Karen is a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner with over 1000 hours of yoga teaching experience. Yoga has brought Karen to a place of deep gratitude and compassion in her life. It also has made her realize life’s intention, to help guide others out of the darkness that is depression and anxiety through the life-enhancing gifts yoga has to offer. Karen’s blogs and information about her offerings may be found at

We each have an ego—an identity based on our personal stories, our beliefs, and our surroundings. When we are in emotional or mental pain, the ego will say everything it can in order to help distract you from the situation that is hurting you. When you hold onto anger at a person, then your heart closes down each time you think of her or him. Imagine your heart as a palace with infinite rooms. Each closed door in the heart’s mind blocks the flow of prana, your lifeforce, to some emotion and some experience. The longer you keep that door closed, the thicker and more seemingly impenetrable the seal around that experience or person or emotion becomes. Judgment, grudges, stories that we formulate and take as “the truth” all block forgiveness. Your ego wants to protect you by sealing up the door to this room in your heart’s mind.

Our egos, however, are fragile. We decide which life experiences to include in the story of our lives. Our beliefs change as we experience new challenges and expose ourselves to other ideas. Our environments, our bodies, and our moods all change. Egos build themselves upon slippery foundations. So while our egos can try to feel important, protect us from our pain through self ­righteousness and superiority, they cannot succeed in the long run.

Sometimes anger feels good for a while. When you are angry, and when you hold a grudge, you feel like you are right. You are right, you have the higher moral or spiritual ground; the other person is wrong, is less worthy of love. Perhaps you even entertain the idea that the person deserves something negative in her or his life. The more tightly you weave these judgments and angry emotions into your story, the more you believe it. The door seals up. You carry the anger in your heart everywhere you go.

drops-694273_1280It takes excessive energy to carry anger with you all the time. Each moment spent holding onto anger uses your prana, your vital life energy, and redirects its flow against wholeness and connection with the Universe. Anger is your heart and mind’s way of saying “No.” It says “no” to emotion. It says “no” to the flow of your life force through this aspect of your existence. The closed door in your heart says “no” and disallows the Universe to heal you and bring you closer to a state of wholeness. “No” makes you separate, and being separate from your own life’s energy is very painful indeed. Without access to your prana, you feel exhausted. Each “no” in your life depletes you.

The solution is let go and practice the opposite. The inclination we often have is to “talk things over,” or “work it out” with the person to whom we’ve closed our heart’s door. Sometimes talking is useful; many times, it simply strengthens the same story our egos have constructed. When we have the same conversation over and over, actual communication stops. When we state our side of the story multiple times, it often means we’ve stopped listening. Our egos have found a new way to strengthen the lock on the heart’s door. What happens if you let go of the story altogether? Even if your relationship remains negatively changed—even if you are never close to this person again, what happens if you drop the justifications, let the story dissolve? What happens if you allow “yes” to seep into the space between you and your story? What if you say “yes” to the painful things behind the door your ego has locked shut?

In all likelihood, it hurt terribly at first. Anger will well up in you. Your whole body may shake and sweat with rage as your ego clings to its constructs. Then you’ll feel the original wound. It may gape and bleed and leave you drained. The saying goes, though, that Nature abhors a vacuum. Something else will fill that void. Your prana will flow into that space. The solution to letting go of anger is feeling. Let the Universe sustain you as every emotion and physical sensation flows into and out of that space that anger had closed off for so long. Breathe deeply into each emotion as it comes and goes. Get curious. Let the pain, joy, sadness and gratitude stay as long as they need to and then let them go. Tell each sensation, I am making space for you. I am infinite. Take what you need.

Ram Das says, “[Anger] costs more than it’s worth. Even though you are right, righteousness ultimately starves you to death. “Righteousness is not liberation. It is known as the golden chain. You’re wonderful and you’re absolutely right, but you’re dead. I mean you’re dead to the living spirit. And finally, you want to be free more than you want to be right. And you have to forgive somebody not because they deserve forgiveness within your [ego’s] model, in a righteous sense.”

heart-583895_1280Ultimately, each person’s natural state is love. I truly believe this. When we are alive, and the Universe flows through our infinite hearts without obstruction, we are all the same. No one has to be right or wrong anymore, and there is nothing to forgive. You do not forgive the Universe for its existence; you do not forgive rain for getting you wet. Life happens, and sometimes problems arise. Throughout it all we are connected. Keeping the heart’s open connection to the Universe is a practice. When you have been hurt by another person, even after time has passed, sometimes the ego continues the process of sealing off the room to that relationship. As a conscious, precious being, actively loosen your grip on the anger when you notice it. The process can go on for a long time. There is room in your heart for you, the pain you feel, the person involved, and for the bliss and connection you share with them. The heart always has room.

You can find a very effective practice for letting go of pain by Amy Weintraub here:­as­a­pathway­to­peace­a­nondual­practice/

About the Author

Amy Weintraub

Amy Weintraub E-RYT 500, MFA, YACEP, C-IAYT, founded the LifeForce Yoga® Healing Institute, which trains yoga and health professionals internationally, and is the author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is used by health care providers worldwide. She is involved in ongoing research on the effects of yoga on mood.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Down Angers Doors”

  1. Wow, Karen, this is an awesome and beautifully written article. I found myself saying “yes!” throughout your blog. I liked the way you expose anger as a secondary feeling and a block of the ego. And also how you speak to transforming it. Excellent!

    1. Thank you so much, Dennis!

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Research Newsletter


What People Say

“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“My life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” — Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“This workshop has changed so much — my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” — Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“I have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“I utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” — Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
“Yoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“I have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“My patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
“This workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“I integrate strategies like mantra tones and pranayama, but above all I invite myself and those I teach to cultivate svadhyaya, to practice self-observation without judgment.” — Barbara Sherman, RYT 200, LFYP, Tucson, AZ
“I have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” — Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
“I learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
“I began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” — Serian Strauss, Tanzania
“I came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” — Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
Scroll to Top