"Boring" - This is the most common excuse given by non-yogis when asked to start practicing yoga. To some extent, this sentiment is understandable- some individuals just can’t realize the kind of stress release from yoga as they do from say, kickboxing. However, there is a new take on yoga called "Rage Yoga" that is attracting multitudes to this fitness activity like never before.
What is Rage Yoga?
Rage Yoga was created by a resident of Calgary, Canada named Lindsay-Marie Istace after a really painful breakup of a long term relationship. It is meant for those who are trying to improve their flexibility and posture but have never felt at home in modern yoga studios. Instead of a serene environment complete with burning candles or incense in a light filled room, Lindsay holds her Rage Yoga sessions in the basement of Dickens’s bar in Calgary.
Here, you won’t hear any tinkling of bells or the soothing sounds of a waterfall Rage Yoga is swearing and heavy metal as its background music. According to Lindsay, Rage Yoga as a health practice involves stretching, performing positional exercises and sharing bad jokes, with the ultimate goal of attaining robust health and becoming as zen as f*ck. It is more than just a practice, it is an attitude.
Rage Yoga is based loosely on Vinyasa Yoga, and it allows participants to get out emotions by stretching, making rude gestures, and cursing. You can scream profanities and flip the bird while rocking out to Black Sabbath or Metallica.
What to expect from a Rage Yoga class
This type of yoga is based on the slower version of Vinyasa yoga. It starts and ends with simple breathing exercises with a mid-section dedicated to helping you get all your frustrations out. You can scream, grunt, abuse or express your rage in whatever way you like.
What makes it more fun is that it makes is possible to mix drinking beer and practicing yoga. The students are allowed to drink before, during and after class to relieve their tension and some participants even finish a pint during the class. Surprisingly, it helps them deal with alcohol addiction problems as it has an ameliorative effect on the students.
The yoga portion of the routine is set to the tunes of metal, and it features authentic poses that target flexibility, strength and mind-body connectivity. A typical execution will have you inhaling as you get into the asana and swearing as you exit various poses. The class itself starts on a fun note with standard jokes and banter, but quickly transitions to swearing. As the routine draws to a close, the class expels a communal "f*ck yeah" instead of the standard "Namaste". The main benefit that is unique to Rage Yoga is that it offers a safe place to deal with negative emotions in a positive way Lindsay holds Rage Yoga classes at a pub in Calgary with 10 to 20 people attending each session. She however, plans to create online classes so you can enjoy the full benefits of Rage Yoga from your home or workplace. She is currently trying to raise funds through kick starter so she can film the classes then offer them as downloads.