Sometimes when you’re angry, you might feel like getting belligerently drunk and smashing glass bottles against a wall — or you could go to rage yoga.
One woman is bringing the dark side to yoga by allowing participants to swear, scream, listen to heavy metal and drink beer during their vinyasa class. Lindsay Istace, 24, is the founder of this style of yoga that she dubs “Rage Yoga.”
The class she teaches is based in Calgary, Canada and is offered every Monday and Wednesday in the basement of Dickens Pub. Her website describes rage yoga as “a practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen as f*ck. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude.”
Istace discovered rage yoga after going through a messy breakup. She told CBC News that the other yoga classes she went to had a “very deadpan, serious, overly serene approach to things.”
Yelling and cursing during yoga is a more cathartic experience than the traditional classes, according to Istace. The pioneering yoga teacher explained to Self:
“My hurt feelings really began to come out on the mat and suddenly I found myself screaming and swearing a lot during my practice time. At first it seemed crazy but I found that combining the emotional released with my routines really helped!”
Istace launched her rage yoga classes in January and teaches up to 12 students per session. She charges attendees $12 per drop-in class and an additional $2 for mat rental. The price includes a free beer ticket as well.
A number of people have been resistant to her twist on the vinyasa flow, but others are more receptive. One of her students, Colleen Trumble, told CBC News about her experience:
“I find the atmosphere of the class is a lot more easygoing. If you fall over or wobble, you can just sort of laugh through it. You don’t really feel like you’re disturbing some sort of ‘tranquility’ of the class.”
Istace also launched a Kickstarter in order to fund her project to film and provide online classes for those interested in practicing rage yoga. A schedule of upcoming travel workshops in August is also available on the website.