WTF Is 'Rage Yoga,' And Should You Try It?

Drink beer, curse, and listen to metal while you hold plank pose.

WTF Is It And Should You Try It? is an original A Plus Lifestyle series:  Every now and then, we take a closer look at the lifestyle trends taking over our news feeds and find out whether it's worth the hype.

If you've ever sat in a yoga class and thought it would be better with beer instead of water, profanity instead of piety, and metal instead of kirtan, then Rage Yoga was made for you. 

"Rage Yoga is like regular yoga but with a different attitude," creator Lindsay Istace told A Plus. "It's not a new style, it's a different approach! We create a safe space for students to be honest about their emotions and to deal with them in a constructive way. This way they can use them like fuel in their practice to become a happier and stronger person, both on and off of the mat."

In Istace's Rage Yoga class, you can expect to do vinyasa poses at a slow pace while swearing and drinking. Instead of saying "Namaste," you'll be letting out a refreshing "fuck yeah." 

For many people, yoga isn't just about exercise. Instead, many practitioners consider it a lifestyle that encourages mindfulness and harmony between your body and your mind. Rage Yoga may be particularly attractive for people who are looking for a less solemn approach to yoga, but still want to reap the benefits. 

"I often found that the very serene and serious approach that was offered in most yoga studios didn't work for me ... and I knew I wasn't alone," Istace said. "A yoga studio can be a very intimidating place for a lot of people. I wanted to make something that offered a way into the yoga world that was accessible for some of those who felt that way." 

Istace has only been holding classes since January, so it's all relatively new. Right now, her students meet in the basement of Dickens, a bar in Calgary, Canada. Signing up for a class also earns you two beers for the discounted price of $4 each. Students are free to drink their pints before, during, or after class. 

Recently, Istace successfully raised enough funds during a Kickstarter campaign to create online classes. She expects they'll be available on her website this summer so that anyone can try Rage Yoga at home. She is currently the only person offering Rage Yoga practice in person, but may certify other yogis to teach it in the future.

Istace is well aware that Rage Yoga may not sound appealing to everyone, but points out that, for those who are interested, the benefits are the same as any yoga practice. 

"We build strength, flexibility, and peace of mind. These benefits follow you off of the mat too," she said. "The only things that are a bit more unique to Rage Yoga are that we offer a practice that attracts a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't get out to practice, and that we offer a space for students to learn how to use negative emotions in a positive way."

For Istace, developing and practicing Rage Yoga helped her overcome some of the hardships in her life and channel the negative feelings she was having into something beneficial. 

"My practice has helped me overcome a lot of personal struggles, from actual rage issues to the breakup of a long-term relationship," she said. "It has taught me to accept and love myself. Not just my body but my mind as well. It has given me strength to handle the curve balls of life and the strength to make myself vulnerable. It has shown me how to use my emotions to be a stronger and better person."

Istace hopes it'll have a positive impact on others as well. 

"Everyone's journey is different. We all have different stories, goals, and struggles, but I think Rage Yoga can help a lot of people in the same way it has helped me," Istace said.