Historically, yoga as a wellness practice has tended to present a focus on peaceful contemplation, but what about those who struggle with sitting still for five minutes without their mind wandering to one of the multitudes of issues and distractions so common in life? What if the social media image of the perfect body in clean bright rooms silently posing doesn’t appeal to everyone? These are the questions Edmonton-based author Lindsay Istace explores in their new book, Rage Yoga: Unleash Your Inner Badass.
Part yoga manual, part collection of personal essays, Rage Yoga presents an alternative approach to yoga designed to help the “misfits” of the yoga world better harness their emotions on their path to yoga badass-ery.
“Yoga can be an attitude, a lifestyle, and a method of unleashing your most badass self,” Istace explains.
The book opens up with a short introduction that answers a few common questions and then explores Istace’s unique career as a circus performer and yoga instructor. It includes their training in China and their learning to express emotions, good or bad, through breathwork, poses, and other elements of daily yoga practice.
Istace emphasizes their attempt at building a community for those who felt left out of the yoga subculture.
“I knew now that there was a lot of power in embracing, maybe even befriending, your own messiness, and I wanted to share that with others! I couldn’t find an existing community that fit what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own,” they explain.
Istace splits the rest of the book into eight chapters. The first five explore the different components of rage yoga and present instructions for specific poses, breathwork, meditations, and sequences that relate to the topics presented in each chapter. Istace’s style of teaching is casual and includes quips, personal stories, and a healthy dose of creative curse words. They encourage readers to do what comes naturally as long as it helps with embracing emotions and staying engaged.
The next two chapters compile what’s been taught so far and assist readers with creating their own daily practice. The final chapter details a seven-day program designed to highlight the lessons learned throughout the book as a launching pad for readers to start from.
A 42-page glossary of poses concludes the book. Each pose is illustrated for easy reference and includes tips, suggested transitions, and advice for adjustments for practitioners with mobility or comfort concerns.
Illustrator Chrissy Lau peppers each chapter with images that take inspiration from traditional tattooing, sketching, and watercolours to highlight the book’s brash appeal and the author’s welcoming tone.
Books about alternative forms of yoga are not uncommon in bookstores today, but Rage Yoga: Unleash Your Inner Badass succeeds where others fail by avoiding gimmicks while presenting a relatable narrative and practical manual in a single package. Rage Yoga might be a perfect entry point for readers who have felt left out of the traditional image of the serene Instagram yogi.
Buy the book at RageYoga.com, on Amazon, or through other major retailers.