Tantrum Asana Yoga: A Two-Minute Inner Peace Recipe
Tantrum Yoga’s main practise is to hold your breath until God gives you what you want.
I’ve been participating in one of those intense, year-long spiritual programmes in which I hope that meditating on a daily lesson will bring me closer to the divine bit by bit. It’s been difficult—really difficult—but also amazing. I have 47 days left.
“My heart is beating in God’s peace,” says today’s lesson. Isn’t that wonderful? The only problem is that my heart isn’t at all at ease. It’s actually smoking angry. This morning, my husband and I had a conversation. Assume it was about money. Assume one of us has been spending more than the other, and it isn’t me.
“She keeps the household chequebook chained to her wrist,” he once told a friend. That is completely unjust. It made me sound like one of those wives who controls everything her husband does. So I started being careful not to keep track of where all the money went, trying to relax, be generous, and trust that we’d have enough money every month. We have more than enough.
But this is one of those months when our joint chequebook is mysteriously empty—and we’ve had a few of them recently.
Fortunately, I have a strategy.
I retire to my study, where Jeff will be less likely to bother me. I take up a position in an open area where I can move freely. Then I erupt in rage.
I stand with my feet apart, swinging my arms and bending over, yelling obscenities interspersed with “why why why?” Of course, this is all done in silence. But with each insult and cuss word, I forcefully exhale through my mouth.
It takes about 45 seconds for me to exhaust myself, though it feels much longer. I collapse into a chair, exhausted. Is my work done? Can I get up, go downstairs, and go about my business? Do I have a lighter feeling? No? I rage once more, until I die.
When I was caring for my elderly mother a few years ago, I discovered the therapeutic value of these two-minute tantrums. My mother was wonderful—funny, loving, and annoyingly endearingly demanding of me. She could run circles around me for the majority of her life. But, in her final years, even the simplest tasks took an inordinate amount of time. Temper tantrum, peace tantrum, stress release, self-therapy
When I returned home, she always greeted me with a lengthy to-do list. I hurried her through breakfast and bundled her up for an eye appointment one day. That day, we had six other errands to run. Finally settled in the car, I noticed that we were only five minutes late. We’d usually arrive at the doctor’s office on time. Mom, on the other hand, gave me a tearful look. “I forgot to bring my purse,” she explained.
It was five flights up in her apartment. “Do you really require it?” I asked.
She simply stared at me.
I returned the car to her parking spot and went to get the purse.
I’d seen a friend the week before having a tantrum with her two-year-old, who was throwing herself on the floor and wailing. I was having a bad day as well, and I wished I could express myself with such abandon. I realised I was alone as I walked back through the parking lot to my mother’s apartment building. And I began to rage silently, swinging my arms and stamping my feet.
When I was done, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. “OK, now we’re ready,” I said as I retrieved my mother’s purse and handed it to her.
Relationships require work, compromise, love, and temper tantrums in order to find peace.
Maintaining the Peace
Having a private tantrum now and then has become a part of my spiritual practise. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can step out of sight and complete a task in 15 seconds. No religious text or guru’s guidebook I’ve read mentions the importance of allowing yourself to be angry in a safe, solitary place. But how am I supposed to find inner peace if I don’t indulge in the occasional cleansing rage? “I believe in peace and love, but I also cuss,” says one of my favourite Facebook posts.
When I returned downstairs after my rant, it occurred to me that the empty chequebook was not solely Jeff’s fault. Absolutely not. I make my fair share of impulsive purchases. When I see Jeff in his ratty old shorts, I have to admit that he’s quite frugal.
As he frequently points out, we’re housed, fed, and have no major concerns—and we’re far more comfortable and safe than most people on the planet. For the first time since waking up this morning, I could seriously consider allowing my heart to begin to beat in God’s peace. I sat down at our kitchen table and began paying the bills, only occasionally grimacing.
Most of us were doing yoga before we could talk, it turns out. See the image of the lost asana below.
The fact that children naturally assume these positions from a young age demonstrates that yoga is a very natural pursuit.
Most people remove these positions from their lives as they grow and develop. I’m sure we all know someone who still practises the lost asana on a regular basis.
The wise among us return to yoga later in life, replacing the mostly negative poses of Tantrum Yoga with the positive and enjoyable positions taught at Wicklow Yoga.
Ashtanga yoga is a very beneficial type of yoga that teaches you to connect with your body and teach it to work in harmony with you.
Some people may benefit from Tantrum Yoga positions as well, but we do not recommend trying them without supervision or in public!