While yoga has been popular in the western world since the 80s, enterprising spirits have figured out that there are a number of niche markets yet to be tapped. Former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page has seen huge success with his ‘Yoga for Regular Guys’ (later renamed the considerably less humorous ‘DDP Yoga’). Sort of surprisingly, another focus has been on fans of heavy music with Heavy Metal Yoga and Black Metal Yoga.
However, these all pale in comparison to the newest kid on the block: Rage Yoga, which encourages participants to curse, yell and chug beer to a soundtrack of heavy metal.
Rage Yoga was created by 24-year-old Lindsay Istace after a particularly painful breakup. A traditional yoga instructor, she said her practice began to change.
“There were a lot more swear words and a lot more crying,” she explained. “By allowing myself to have this space where I’m able to be super honest about my emotions… it was incredibly therapeutic.” And while the idea of the class started as a joke, she soon realized that people were connecting with the concept. Now you can drop in to the basement of Calgary’s Dickens Pub and participate in what Istace describes as a “bastardization” of Vinyasa Yoga, which proudly replaces the “Ohm” mantra with one of “Fuck Yeah!”
Participants are encouraged to sip on wine or beer during the class – in fact, the $12 cover will get you a drink ticket. Istace also is keeping the music CanCon: the class’ theme song may not be metal, but it’s Bif Naked’s Canadian alt-rock classic “I Love Myself Today.”
So why would anybody need boozy, foul-mouthed, hard rock yoga?
“I think there are a lot of people intimidated by the usual yoga culture,” Istace surmised. “Yoga studios are intimidating for people who are just getting into yoga, and for people who are very experienced in yoga they just want something that is a little less serious.”
Apparently she’s onto something there: her Kickstarter aimed at getting Rage Yoga online has raised close to $7,100 – well over the initial goal of $2,000. Even if you don’t live in Calgary, you’ll soon be able to give Rage Yoga a try and, as Istace encourages her students to do daily, get “zen as fuck.”