Yoga has long been touted as an excellent practice for promoting an improved sense of well-being. It can increase both muscle tone & flexibility, improve posture, increase healthy blood flow, etc. And that’s only the physical benefits- the deep breathing & meditative aspects of the average yoga session go a long way to combat stress! But, have you tried rage yoga?
I tried yoga- once. I was always intimidated by the idea of trying it, because I worried about looking obviously clueless (what the hell is a downward dog, anyway??). But after a few weeks of working out, I thought I was up to the challenge. After all, I’ve taken a spin class; how hard could some stretching & some mild body contortions be, right?
The instructor was a warm & enthusiastic Indian woman in her mid-seventies. And over the course of 50 minutes, she proceeded to cajole us into twisting our bodies into intricate shapes that I haven’t seen since 10th graded geometry class.
Muscles I didn’t even know I had trembled in panic while holding positions.
While the instructor encouraged us to take “deep breaths”, most of my breaths were held- holding in the stream of profanity on the tip of my tongue. Sun salutation? The sun can kiss my a– OUCH!! My ass muscles were crying!
While I admired the peaceful calm of the yoga studio, it was not for me. But there’s a new style of yoga that is right up my alley, and if you’re the sweary sort, it’s probably perfect for you, too.
Rage yoga involves the traditional challenge of tried-and-true yoga positions, combined with swearing, shouting at the tops of your lungs, and gulping beer.
The practice was created by Lindsay Istace, a yoga instructor who felt that she simply didn’t fit in to the serene, quiet environment of a typical yoga class. She suspected that others might feel the same way, too. According to the description on her website, Rage Yoga, she created this innovative type of yoga for:
Other like-minded weirdos who wanted a kick ass practice and to unleash their inner badass.
Sounds like my kind of people! And the premise of Istace’s method is:
A practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen AF. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude.
I’ve rage-cleaned (especially when my husband is napping), I’m seasoned at rage-driving (school drop-off, anyone?), and I’ve rage-cried. But rage-yoga?
A typical session involves traditional yoga stretches & poses- with a sweary twist. Attendees are given free reign -even encouraged- to yell, scream, & swear as they hold poses. Laughing and joking is encouraged as well, and most sessions break midway for a beer (or three?).
For those who wonder why the swearing is a key aspect of rage yoga, consider the meaning of the word yoga– it’s defined as “union”.
Yoga is about getting in touch with your unique body and your mind. While we can work our bodies hard in yoga, digging deep into our true emotions is an important part of the process, too.
Ashley Duzich is a rage yoga instructor with Brash Brewery of Houston, TX. As she explained to news station CBS Dallas-Fort Worth,
“We’re all angry about something- we’ve all been holding onto an F-bomb for too long. This allows you to have a safe space to let go of your anger and your frustration.”
Ashley raved about how participants really enjoy the sessions, taking advantage of the safe environment to really get in touch with their inner feelings. The best line overheard by Ashley from a raging yoga student?
“I told you to do the dishes!!!” (Makes total sense to me, just saying…)
Official rage yoga studios are currently located in Houston, Calgary, and Edmonton. But if you’re into checking out some rage yoga but don’t live near any of these cities, have no fear- classes are available online via Lindsay’s website.
Two six-week programs are available on Lindsay Istace’s website, Rage Yoga: the beginning class is “Ferocious Foundations”, followed by “Bendy And Badass”.
The cost of each six-week course is $90, which doesn’t include the cost of your beer- enjoying rage yoga in the comfort of your own home is strictly a BYOB deal, people.
But for those that want to enjoy the benefits of yoga while adding a little.. “zest” to it, rage yoga is the way to go.
Just remember to close your windows before you fold yourself into the downward-facing dog position & let the F bombs fly!