Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could scream and yell to release all your anger and pent-up aggression?
Most of us (and especially some who woke up tot the results of the election) can answer with a resounding, “Yes!” After all, we rarely get to experience the occasional red letter days here and there. You know the ones where everything goes smoothly. Those magical and blissful days where our stars align, the clouds part, and we win at adulting. Be that as it may, you can’t have Yin without the Yang, which often leads to feelings that are the exact opposite of warm and cuddly.
In the grand scheme of things, we need these “black” letter days to calibrate those few perfect hours of our exceptional days. However, this theory doesn’t make it any easier to deal with rocky relationships, work woes, financial struggles and more. It’s no secret that life happens and there will inevitably be days that try our patience, where nothing seems to go right and tomorrow morning can’t come soon enough.
On these types of days, our frustration mounts, tension piles, and we end up wanting to scream at the world. Most people turn to soaking away the day in a hot bath or breathing away the moment through relaxing yoga. However, a new trend called “rage” yoga is turning the stress of the day into a cursing and swearing bonanza, complete with a drink from the bar, to help release all your pent up tension. Cue the controversy.
Understanding Rage Yoga
True, yoga was originally meant to be practiced free of any mind-altering substances, but we invite you to keep an open mind. This new take on traditional Vinyasa yoga, was born from the mind of Lindsay Istace after a nasty relationship breakup. Following her breakup, she was beginning to notice that her yoga routines were changing. Frequently, she noticed the addition of tears and swear words accompanied her poses.
She embraced her emotions and channeled them into “rage” yoga complemented with heavy rock music, offensive gestures, and alcohol. Encouraging rage outbursts allows her students to release stress and add a bit of humor to their routines. It’s not uncommon to find people flipping the bird, laughing, drinking, or cursing away their tension.
Istace, in a recent interview with Huffington Post, said, “By allowing myself to have this space where I’m able to be super honest about my emotions… is incredibly therapeutic.”
Istace credits the above reason for the success of rage yoga and the appeal this approach has for people who are traditionally intimidated by yoga studios and intense yoga culture. This form of yoga is not a new discipline or spin off of traditional yoga, it just creates a more casual atmosphere and ambiance to practice in. Students who practice with Istace enjoy a slower paced session without worrying about wobbling or ruining a tranquil environment.
Not Ready to Rage? 4 Tips For Embracing Yoga
If you want to take advantage of yoga’s natural ability to reduce anxiety and aggression, but are on the fence about embracing rage yoga’s crudeness or are unsure you want to join a structured Vinyasa yoga class, there are still options available to explore. Which is understandable, because not everyone is able to release stress in a completely zen environment or master difficult poses.
To help you find a middle of the road approach, consider implementing the following techniques:
- Practice yoga at a time that works best for you. If you enjoy getting in a few poses first thing in the morning or you like to destress after work, do it. By choosing a time that fits your schedule and makes you feel better, you will be more likely to continue practicing.
- Focus on breathing. If a pose is difficult, don’t stress and just keep breathing. The rhythmic breathing is beneficial on its own and will help release pent up tension and anxiety. The stretching and exercising will get better over time.
- Acknowledge all emotions. It’s healthy to release anger and sadness in a safe outlet. Take advantage of yoga’s meditative qualities and let go of the negativity that has built up during the day.
- Start easy. Choose beginner poses and work your way up to more difficult moves. Take advantage of the mental benefits and with practice, you will see physical results.