There are many ways that have been taught regarding how to manage one’s anger, all with varying degrees of success.
Some people are fine after taking a deep breath and counting to ten. Others take comfort in the stillness that guided meditation or calming exercises can bring.
But other people just need to yell.
Lindsay Istace had that last group in mind when she tried to provide an environment where people can tackle their anger in a manner that doesn’t force themselves to be calm. And that’s how Rage Yoga was born.
Yup, that’s right: it’s a yoga class where people can yell, scream, curse, and even drink!
The yoga we’re familiar with is generally considered a calming activity. Through gentle stretches, breathing exercises, and meditations, one is expected to eventually achieve a blissful state. But for Istace, that didn’t always work for her.
She herself had been working through some anger issues in her personal life but regular yoga just wasn’t producing the results she was looking for.
It’s not that she wasn’t deriving any benefits from regular yoga. “[Regular yoga] made me feel like I was standing in a library full of gymnasts,” said Istace. “My practice gave me a strong body-mind connection and a new appreciation for my body. I learned how to slow my mind, feel good in my body, and built some decent pipes while I was at it. It helped me overcome addiction and weather a lot of personal obstacles. It kept me healthy and sane!”
But she still needed something more and that path led her to found Rage Yoga. She has already expanded to three Texas locations where practitioners are free to stretch and channel their rage. The Houston location is even situated in a brewery. That’s because a necessary last step of rage yoga is downing a nice cold beer to wash away those negative vibes and exercise sweat.
Just because it sounds funny doesn’t mean there are no professionals guiding the sessions. Rage yoga instructors need to have 200 hours of teaching experience before they can apply.
Ashley Duzich, a rage yoga teacher at Brash Brewery, thinks yoga is the perfect way to release anger and find some relief. She says that rage yoga is helpful in getting peoples’ anger out, whatever the cause, in a supportive environment.
“We are all angry about something and we all have been holding onto an ‘F’-bomb for a little bit too long,” said Duzich. “So that’s what this does: it allows you to have a safe space to let go of your frustration and rage in a healthy way … and then also wash it all away with some ice-cold beer.”
Participants in Duzich’s rage yoga sessions are free to scream away all the things they’ve bottled up inside without fear of being judged.
“One of the funniest things I think I ever heard was, ‘I told you to do the dishes,’” said Duzich.
And for Istace and the other instructors, humor plays an important role.
The rage yoga website calls the practice an “attitude” meant to improve health through stretches and exercise. It’s also a means to make become “zen as f*ck.”
At-home sessions are also offered with streaming guided yoga sessions entitled “Bendy and Bad***” and “Ferocious Foundations.”
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