Scream and stretch
Raise a glass to Rage Yoga
Yoga is an environment where one can stretch and relax peacefully, but Lindsay Istace had another idea: Rage Yoga.
Istace had her first class in January 2016, at Dickens Pub in downtown Calgary, where the class now takes place every Monday and Wednesday.
Rage Yoga is just like standard yoga, but with a lot more verbal swearing, middle fingers up in the air and alcohol.
“It brings people together who’ve never done yoga,” said Taylyr Lively, a class instructor.
“If you mess up, you can laugh and swear it off. Anything goes.”
Istace dabbled with the idea in September 2015, after a painful break up.
She found the ability to be at home and swear out her frustrations while doing yoga to be a huge anchor for her.
Istace even described it as something that allows one to be honest with their emotions and therapeutic as well.
A friend of Istace joked with her that she should start up a Rage Yoga class, and after a one-off session, it spiralled to what it is today.
“The benefits are endless,” said Istace. “It is unique because it’s a safe space to be honest with your emotions in a positive way.”
“If someone is looking for a guided meditation atmosphere, Rage Yoga is not for them.”
During the class, there are no differences in the positions and stretches one may do in a standard yoga class. Except for whenever your arms are extended, your middle finger should be sticking out, and when you come out of a difficult position, say “fuck it” and be done.
Instead of reaching for a water bottle during a break, one would reach for an alcoholic beverage purchased prior to the start of class.
Even if one didn’t want to wait for a break, that beer is free game whenever.
The music itself is interesting as it’s not relaxing nature sounds, or quiet music, but guitar-jamming metal. At least that is what was played during the class on March 14.
“It’s good for people who don’t feel like they can fit into general [yoga] classes,” said Lively. “It’s a different atmosphere.”
Zach Erion has been taking the class for four to five weeks.
“I never enjoyed yoga before, but it’s really fun and easy-going,” said Erion.
He discovered the class after looking on the Dickens Pub Facebook page, where they post different events they host. After seeing this, he gave it a shot.
Erion found that this was the way he prefers to take yoga.
Istace described her course as the “gateway drug of yoga,” where some people, like Erion, like it and will stick with it for a while, and then there are others who are looking for a more relaxed setting and won’t return.
“It’s a mishmash of alternative badasses.”