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Rage Yoga brings taboo to Calgary yogi scene

Rage yogis can also sip on beer, if they wish

Lindsay Istace says Rage Yoga isn’t as serious as most studios.

Jeremy Simes / For Metro

Lindsay Istace says Rage Yoga isn’t as serious as most studios.

This isn’t your typical kind of “zen.”

Dubbed Rage Yoga, Lindsay Istace is changing the way you say namaste. Literally.

“Rather than doing the namaste (at the end of class), we do a really big ‘f*ck yea,” said Istace, founder of the not-so-serious yoga practice.

“It was pretty awesome because I had a whole room of people turning to one another saying, ‘F*ck yea, f’ck yea,’” she said. “It was good.”

Rage Yoga is meant to take the seriousness out of practice which, according to Istace, can be quite intimidating for some, including herself.

“I can’t do the super serious thing,” she said. “I want to be able to giggle out loud if I fall over. I know not all studios are like that, but I felt like I didn’t fit in most of the time.”

So, to avoid the typical formality of yoga, she took it upon herself create Rage, embracing the shenanigans.  

Even the space where Rage Yoga holds its practice is peculiar: Dickens pub, which is in a basement.

“Well, that’s just not scary,” Istace joked. “At first I would say there were a lot of raised eyebrows (to the idea). But the more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a plausible idea.” And because Rage Yoga is held in a pub, yogis will be given a discount on two pints at most.

Oh, you’re also allowed to sip on a brewsky during Warrior Two, if you’re up for it.

Water is also fine, Istace added. “There have been no spills,” she said. “I just ask people be mindful of their water … or their beer.”

Istace said she recognizes some may be offended by Rage Yoga. “You can’t win everyone over,” she said.

“What I want to do with this is use it as an awesome gateway yoga: get people to try out yoga for those who are intimidated by studios but want to try out a class.”

Rage Yoga runs at Dickens every Monday and Wednesday. Drop-in is $12 and it costs $2 to rent a mat.

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