Live Well: Rage yoga offers screams, rock music, swear words | Way of life


Most people think of yoga as a serene, gentle way to commune with your soul and become more flexible.

There is no screaming, no swearing, no aggressive rock music and certainly no middle finger.

Obviously, they haven’t come across the yoga of rage yet.

The Canadian Lindsay Istace is the founder of one of the last twists of the ancient practice. It came to her around 2015, when a bad breakup sent her into a spiral. At first, she went to traditional yoga classes, where many heartbroken people turned to twist, bow and bend the strained feelings of their bones. But the calm and peaceful environment didn’t really suit him.

It was then that she retreated to her basement, where she was able to truly feel and express all of her emotions – anger, rage, sadness, frustration – in a way that was not. appropriate for a typical classroom setting.

“More often than not, we can find ourselves with a narrow view of what yoga is meant to be,” Istace said from his home in Edmonton, Alta.

“Some of us need to take a different path to peace and quiet. You have to let go of some things. Take an alternate route to get there. For me, that was a problem in a lot of classes – come in and be calm right away. I had things to take care of right away.

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She told a friend about her new approach to her yoga practice, and they said it sounded like a class they would like to take. So Istace did a rabies yoga workshop at a festival. It was a success. She taught another, and soon she was leading weekly classes.

Today, she runs raging yoga teacher training courses, both in person and online, and her instructors teach across Canada and the United States. There are no classes in Colorado, but you can register for its six-week online programs

Istace also has a new book, “Rage Yoga”, which will be released on November 2nd. A book tour will take her to Denver on January 15, where she will do a book signing and a day of rabies yoga retreat at Woods Boss Brewing Co. She will also be in Boulder on January 16 and Fort Collins on the 17th. January.

Perhaps surprisingly, his classes aren’t much different from a traditional class. Yogis often start out in a seated position, where they practice breathing, before moving on to standing postures. And classes end similarly, with guided meditation and a corpse pose, or savasana, which Istace likes to call “happy adult nap time”.

Rage is scattered everywhere, with less peaceful surroundings and music, depending on who is teaching. Some of its instructors like to bring in the funk, including party lights and classic rock and metal music. And then there are the out-of-the-box yoga exercises, such as’ fire fists’ and ‘let it (swear) go’, where participants are guided to stand and breathe and ‘take the (swear) when. ‘they reach their arms high, and bend forward with a strong exhale and vocalization and instructed to let go of the (expletive).

“For some it means screaming,” Istace said. “For some it means saying things. My favorite, who has become a legend, was someone in Calgary who said, “I asked you to do the dishes yesterday.

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Istace first discovered yoga through an unusual path: contortionism. As a teenager, she learned to juggle and fell in love with the idea of ​​becoming a full-time artist. She expanded her repertoire to include fire consuming and fire dancing, before moving to China and training for three months at the Beijing International School of Acrobatics. From there, she went to Las Vegas to train with a former contortionist from Cirque Du Soleil. She still does the circus today.

Learning to contort helped her enter the world of yoga, when she had no choice but to embrace the search for peace in times of extreme discomfort, such as when coaches stood on her legs for 40 long seconds as she practiced her splits. Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable physical, emotional and spiritual realms is the backbone of yoga.

“This is why the yoga approach of rage to yoga is necessary,” said Istace. “Not everyone can be cool right away. At the moment I am serene. This is what I found there. But to do the things that I wanted to do and see the results and have the experiences that I wanted, I wouldn’t be perfect right away. I had to breathe and accept.

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While some more traditional yogis might take offense at rage yoga, she doesn’t see much of a difference between the two styles.

“Anger and not-so-happy emotions are not inherently anti-yogic,” she said. “Yoga is about everything, the whole, the holistic view of a person. These feelings are part of it. Denying them is not helpful. Anger is really important. We need to have it, digest it and use it in a healthy way, and not let it fester. The yoga of rage is not about having a temper tantrum. You can come and say you had the best day, like petting 10 kittens and having an awesome class.

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270

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