While there are numerous health benefits that come with practicing yoga, it’s not for everyone. To some, it can be slow, too quiet, and even boring. It can also be hard to distance yourself from the turbulence of everyday life and to disappear into the peaceful state yoga requires. To address this dissonance between yoga and modern life, a professional contortionist in Canada has created a new yoga movement called “Rage Yoga”. Practicing Rage Yoga includes drinking beer, yelling out obscenities, and a heavy metal soundtrack. The mantra of the new movement – “get zen as fuck”.
A resident of Calgary, Lindsay-Marie Istace, was inspired to channel her inner turmoil into yoga after a “really painful breakup of a long term relationship”. She says that she had a hard time relaxing with traditional yoga. To her, yoga was at times ”almost overly serene, overly keen and overly peaceful”. So she thought up a “bastardization of Vinyasa Yoga”, where some of the regular yoga class conventions are loosened up.
“Rage Yoga” classes takes place in the basement of a Calgary pub. If the students have enough of stretching, they are encouraged to take “hydration breaks” by grabbing some beer or wine before moving on.
The classes include expected yoga positions, but also involve yelling out obscenities and joking around. If anyone falls or does something unbecoming to a serious yoga class, laughter is more than welcome. One of Istace’s favorite parts is when people inhale, then flop forward screaming whatever they feel like. “It’s super therapeutic, allowing people to let out whatever might be bothering them and generally laughing about it afterwards,” Istace said.
The soundtrack to each class is very varied, including heavy metal. One constant musical staple is Bif Naked’s “I Love Myself Today.”
“The main benefit that is more unique to Rage Yoga is that we create a safe space to deal with negative emotions in a positive way,” shared Istace in an interview with PEOPLE. “I’ve never been able to will away negative feelings. Rage Yoga is a great way to harness and use them in a constructive way that makes you a stronger and happier person.”
Unlike the traditional way of concluding a yoga class with “Namaste,” in a Rage Yoga gathering “everyone sits on their mats and we close with a big satisfying group ‘f— yeah,’ ” says Istace.
You can learn more about Rage Yoga here. Istace is working on offering the classes online, so you too can try it out soon.