'Rage Yoga' Let's You Find Inner Peace By Cursing All Your Feelings Out

It's all the benefits of yoga, while unleashing your anger.

rage yoga participant Krakenimages.com / shutterstock

It used to be that only hippies did yoga, but now it seems like everyone practices yoga — and for good reason. Yoga has many mental and physical benefits, and practicing just a few times a week can lead to a major transformation.

There are so many different kinds of yoga. In addition to the more traditional versions like Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa, there's also power yoga, hot yoga, and curvy yoga.


But in Canada, there's something known as rage yoga.

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What is rage yoga?

According to the founder's website, rage yoga is "a practice involving breath work, positional exercises, and the expressing raw emotions with the goal of attaining zen. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude and a method of connecting you to your most Badass Self."


Instead of a serene environment complete with incense or candles in a light-filled room, rage yoga is held in the basement at Dickens Pub in Calgary, Alberta.

But don't expect the gentle sounds of a mini-waterfall or the tinkling of bells — the background music for rage yoga is heavy metal and swearing.

Lindsay Istace, founder of rage yoga, describes it as "a practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become as zen as f***. More than just a practice, rage yoga is an attitude."

Loosely based on Vinyasa yoga, rage yoga allows the participant to get all their emotions out by stretching, cursing, and making rude gestures. You can relieve a lot of stress and tension by screaming profanities, flipping the bird, and rocking out to Metallica or Black Sabbath.


Istace first created rage yoga as a way to change the culture of traditional yoga to be a better fit for her. "I'm a very loud, colorful personality. I wanted to create a practice that I felt comfortable in," she told CBC. "I knew I wasn't alone."

Istace developed rage yoga while she was going through a painful breakup.

"When you create space for yourself to be angry and to shout and swear and scream, suddenly it's hard to take yourself so seriously. So it goes from anger to laughter pretty quickly," she said. "And we have a lot of that [laughter] going on in here.

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Benefits of Rage Yoga

Rage yoga doesn't exactly coincide with the spirituality of yoga, but it does help its users relieve stress. Yoga has many benefits in itself including reducing stress, cardiorespiratory issues, and better sleep.


However, all of this is actually amplified when you incorporate cursing into the mix.

Cursing has pain-relieving properties. Crazy, but science actually backs it up. One study from 2009 found that when participants cursed it allowed them to keep their hand submerged in icy water longer than those who couldn't curse.

Some common benefits of rage yoga include:

  • Assessing what triggers anger
  • Controlling how to process thoughts
  • Pain relief
  • Better sleep
  • Developing a nonviolent method to respond to impulses

Some yoga enthusiasts don't consider rage yoga real yoga, but that doesn't bother Istace. "Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Different things work for different people and not everyone has to be on board," she said.


If you're looking to take a class, Istace offers both in-person and a 5-week video program. The video program goes for $75 and comes with 2+ videos every week for 5 weeks. All videos are downloadable and include instant streaming access to classes.

In-person classes are held all over the US and Canada. Just find an instructor near you and email them for specific classes and pricing. If you take the class at Dickens Pub, you're welcome to have a beer afterward, too!

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, and Woman's Day.