The Surprising Benefits Of Rage Yoga

Rage and yoga don't often come up in the same sentence, let alone the same class description. But that's exactly what you'll get if you find yourself in a Rage Yoga class, a style of practice created and pioneered by Lindsay Istace. According to the Rage Yoga website, the style involves "breath work, positional exercises, and the expressing of raw emotions" with the goal of creating a powerfully authentic mind-body connection.

Attend a Rage Yoga class, and you should expect traditional yoga poses combined with screaming, middle fingers, and some premium curse words. While the approach is unorthodox, and certainly a departure from the cultural roots of yoga, the Rage Yoga approach is still rooted in tradition. Each instructor is required to complete a 200-hour, Yoga Alliance-approved certification in addition to the specialized Rage Yoga immersive training. This ensures that every teacher meets an industry-recognized standard that includes anatomy, Sanskrit, and the history of yoga (via Yoga Alliance).

Benefits of Rage Yoga

Rage Yoga may not be entirely in rhythm with the spiritual origins of yoga, but the science backs up its efficacy. The stress-reducing benefits of yoga, as well as the cardiorespiratory and sleep benefits, are well documented (via Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine). However, they are amplified by swearing, which (believe it or not) has analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Participants in one well-known study were able to keep their hands submerged in icy water longer when they were encouraged to curse (via Neuroreport). A study published in Psychological Topics attributes swearing with pain relief, promoting group solidarity, relieving aggression, and can even have an impact on how credible and authoritative the swearer seems to others.

Rage Yoga classes also sometimes incorporate beer and wine, which isn't aligned with traditional yoga sutras discouraging alcohol use. But unless you have a personal distaste for drinking and swearing with your downward dogs, there's no risk involved in Rage Yoga (via Healthline). For those who feel out of place or judged in the typical yoga setting, a combination of booze, music, and a good ol' fashioned middle finger might feel more relaxing.