Yoga is the path to inner peace and tranquillity. Letting go of feelings of anger and negativity to achieve a Zen-like state of existence, is yoga’s ultimate purpose, at least traditionally speaking.
For some people, however, venting your anger is the only way to release crippling inner fears. But isn’t anger toxic, you might wonder.
The answer is yes, but if you are someone who bottles up toxic anger, traditional yoga might not work well for you. Do you remember the hilarious Buddhist monk scene in Peter Segal’s comedy Anger Management? Mousy and insecure Dave (played by Adam Sandler), beats up his childhood bully, who has become a Buddhist monk. With the encouragement of his eccentric anger-management therapist (Jack Nicolson), Dave realizes that venting his suppressed anger is healthy, even if this means to wreak havoc inside a Buddhist monastery. And that’s exactly the general idea of rage yoga.
Rage yoga was designed for those of us who could use a few sessions of anger management. Unlike traditional yoga, you are not expected to stay calm, chant “OM”, and sip vitamin water between headstands. Instead, you are encouraged to be loud, curse, and even have a mouthful of beer during breaks, if this helps you express your feelings better. There are yelling and f-bombs flying around in the place of flute music and deep meditation silences. The exercise part is just as vigorous and flowing as in a regular yoga class.
As Lindsay Istace, founder of Rage Yoga explains, it involves “stretching, positional exercises, and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen as f***. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude.”
Most importantly, Rage Yoga is a safe place to let go of anger and frustration, according to Certified Rage Yoga instructor Ashley Duzich. It is raging in a healthy way. Just imagine how much lighter you would feel after an hour of letting go of all the negative energy.
With already three studios in North America (one in Houston and two in Canada), Rage Yoga is expected to attract a faithful following of angry students who are fed up pretending that sitting silently in lotus is cathartic for the mind.
Just like traditional yoga, the ultimate purpose of Rage Yoga remains inner peace and tranquility. However, students aim to quiet the mind through noise instead of silence. The path might be different, but the wisdom is still the same. Namaste.