In the book “A Path with Heart”, Jack Kornfield reminds us that every spiritual path shares similar difficulties: strong emotions. He suggests a way of working with these (useful on & off the yoga mat) which is ‘naming’.
Start by focusing on the breath, watching the inward and outward flow. When your attention is captured by a strong emotion, you make this your point of focus. Feel it fully and name it - for example ‘fear’ , ‘sadness’, ‘peace’, ‘sleepiness’, anger, or any other strong feeling. Watch it until it fades & then return to the breath.
“You must practice naming very softly, giving 95% of your energy to sensing each experience, and 5% to a soft name in the background,” says Kornfield. Naming is not a way to judge & push away undesirable experience, but is a way of being present with what is. We can even watch desire, addiction, greed, ambition & craving: watch it and name it, and when it subsides, return to the breath.