Yoga fanatics might not really like this and dismiss it as another cultural appropriation gone wrong, but Lindsay Istace’s ‘Rage Yoga’ is something you can’t ignore. A yoga practitioner from Calgary, Istace’s version of this popular health practice brings a more casual attitude to the existing forms of yoga with screaming, swearing and heavy metal sessions.
The idea behind this new discipline is to let go of stress and tension while being comfortable in your own skin. A regular session includes movements based on Vinyasa yoga (but performed at a slower pace) coupled with profanities, offensive gestures like the middle finger and pounding heavy metal. But that’s not all. Instead of a sun-filled room, sessions are held in a curtained corner of Dickens Pu— a dimly-lit basement hangout in downtown Calgary.
Some yoga teachers don’t think it’s ‘real yoga’ but this doesn’t affect Istace. She brushes off the criticism saying that everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and admits that this form of yoga is not for everyone. Her confidence in herself and the practice is evident and it has helped her gain ardent followers. She typically sees between five and 12 participants per class.
According to a report published in CBC News, Colleen Trumble, a Rage Yoga regular says, “I find the atmosphere of the class 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,” she says.
Istace, who is also a trained contortionist and fire eater says she developed Rage Yoga while dealing with a painful breakup. According to her website, Rage Yoga helped her overcome addiction and anger issues.
What are her future plans?
She hopes to one day incorporate her practice into tours at various breweries across Canada.