Lindsay Istace’s yoga class takes an unconventional twist on the concept of zen and serenity most of us associate with a yoga practice, down to the venue where she holds her classes: Dickens Pub in Calgary, Alberta.
While guiding her class through traditional yoga postures Istace provides her students with some extra cues, including “Screaming and giving up on life,” which they respond to with a chorus of expletives.
“Rage Yoga” as it has come to be known came naturally to Istace as she struggled with the aftermath of a painful breakup. “My own person practice was very much affected, because suddenly there was a lot more swearing and yelling,” she told CTV News.
Friends encouraged Istace her to teach a specialized workshop of her avant-garde techniques and it simply caught on from there. She now leads her students through “Rage Yoga” classes twice a week at the basement pub, where wine and beer are available during the practice.
Istace explains that traditional yoga never appealed to her and she found it difficult to relax. “Sometimes it was almost overly serene, overly keen and overly peaceful,” she explains.
“It’s actually intimidating for a lot of people, so by being as far away from your traditional yoga studio as possible, we actually allow a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise want to, to come out and give it a try,” she said of her “Rage Yoga” classes.
“And so far they seem to love it.”
Instead of closing her class with the traditional “namaste” she opts for her students to shout “f–k yeah” instead.
“It was pretty awesome because I had a whole room of people turning to one another saying, ‘F*ck yea, f’ck yea,’” she said. “It was good.”