It’s a job that has to be done. There’s a lot of stress you have to carry with you and deal with. But that’s just it. How do you deal with that stress? If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you have a pretty good idea of its solidarity, tranquility, and peacefulness. But whoever said that yoga has to be peaceful or tranquil? Welcome to Rage Yoga.
With the growing popularity of Rage Yoga, mum is definitely not the word you’re looking for here. A legally protected and trademarked program, Rage Yoga and its founder, Lindsay Istace have slowly begun to spread to cities across the U.S., encouraging participants to yell, scream, curse, and throw around double-fisted unicorns, while pounding back some beers and letting loose…all in a healthy, cathartic manner.
Whether you are a lawyer, cop, doctor, store clerk, graduate student, or your everyday working man and female, you certainly are no stranger to the high-tide of emotions and stress-levels that come naturally with your career and education. Rage Yoga brings a perfect ‘zen’ to the impulsive millennial and 9 to 5 Gen X’er, to help rid the wide-spectrum of emotions they have by simply letting loose. Literally.
And if you think you still don’t fall under that category, then here’s a middle finger to you, because you’re definitely on social media and/or a smartphone and have experienced enough anger to tell someone to fuck off or throw your phone against a wall.
Why So Angry?
But why are we so angry? All the time. Well, turns out, there is a shit ton of reasons on holding that anger in.
Credit Card Debt + Loans
Millennials and Gen X’ers are equally stressed about money. But why? In a recent survey conducted by both Business Insider and Morning Consult to survey 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for its new series, “The State of Our Money,” largely focusing on Gen Z and millennials.
According to the survey, much of the stress can be attributed to the fallout of the Great Recession, high costs of living, and staggering student-loan debt:
- Of the 51.5% of millennials who have credit card debt, 67.4% are stressed.
- Of the 54.5% of GenX who have credit card debt, 64.3% are stressed
- Of the 24.3% of millennials who have personal loans, 62% are stressed
- Of the 24.6% of the GenX who have personal loans, 62.5% are stressed
- Of the 28.4% of millennials who have undergraduate student-loan debt, 72.2% are stressed, and
- Of the 15.5% of GenX who have undergraduate student-loan debt, 62.5% are stressed.
Almost two-thirds of millennials say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, and only 38% feel financially stable, according to a new survey from Charles Schwab. According to Schwab, millennials, more than any other generation, feel the most insecure when it comes to their finances. Well no shit. Think about the economy they are living in today. It may be easy to criticize us millennials for spending too much, but other issues are at play for why many of us live paycheck to paycheck.
As a generation, we millennials face a systemic financial crisis that can be extremely overwhelming, highly attributable to student loans and credit card debt. About 4o% of millennials, ages 20 to 35, have credit card debt, according to a recent survey by LightStream, the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.
Millennials ages 25 to 34 had an average of $36,000 in debt last year, excluding home mortgages, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study.
“Spending is not the enemy that we might think that is,” Terri Kallsen, Schwab’s executive vice president of investor services told CNBC Make It.
Texting, Dating, and Other Uncomfortable Shit
Unfortunately, we are in the “Black Mirror” age of dating, where we no longer feel the need to spend the time getting to know someone in person, but rather, swiping left or right on an app, based solely on looks and a superficial appearance. But more importantly, we worry too much. We worry too much because we live in the moment at times and concern ourselves with whether or not the person read our text? Had a good time?
Or the ultimate question, do they feel the same way about you as you do them? All of which brings our more stress than an average day at work. We would rather text our feelings to another, rather than deal with them like adults and communicate face-to-face, even if it warrants an extremely uncomfortable conversation.
Imagine the hell-bent anger that is stored because you simply text your emotions over to that other person. Text messaging and talking on the phone are the top two ways that teens spend time with their romantic partners, but when it comes to daily interactions, texting is by far the dominant way teens in romantic relationships communicate, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center.
Seventy-two percent of teens engage in this form of communication every day, compared with 39% of teens in romantic relationships who talk on the phone daily.
Some teens in our focus groups mentioned that their communication choices often evolve with the intensity and duration of their relationships.
Others mentioned how text-based communication can help them overcome the shyness they sometimes experience in person or give them time to come up with the perfect response during conversation.
For fuck’s sake, pick up the phone and have face-to-face conversations. None of this avoiding confrontation shit or dumping your significant other in a text message.
As mobile devices have made it easy to check in from a wide range of locations throughout the day, many teens now want to communicate with their romantic partner on a daily – and in some cases, hourly – basis. Indeed, 85% of teen daters expect to hear from their significant other at least once a day, and 11% expect to hear from them hourly.
But at the end of the day, this technology brings other feelings into the equation, such as jealousy. Such arguments between partners often play out publicly on social media, including memes and quotes for all to see.
About a quarter – 27% – of teens with dating experience have had a partner use social media to track their whereabouts, and 27% of teens with dating experience say social media makes them feel jealous or unsure of their relationship.
Time to Get ‘Zen As Fuck’
We sent some hate mail out to Rage Yoga today and spoke with Bo Lackey, a certified BAD-ASS and health coach with Rage Yoga. Long before his career as a certified trainer, Lackey spent twenty-years as a cop. Now, the former cop-turned certified yoga instructor, is the only male Rage Yoga instructor in the country, bringing Rage Yoga’s certified instructor count to 16.
Having already taught yoga to popular music (pop), made it an easy transition for Lackey to throw in some double-fisted unicorns and fucks here and there.
Grit Daily: How did you become a certified bad-ass with Rage Yoga?
Bo Lackey: I had been teaching yoga for a few years, and the yoga I had always taught was always more of a flow-based class to popular (pop) music. I had a friend of mine who I had known for years, and I kept telling her she needed to do yoga—like you need to do yoga, you need to do yoga.
And she’s like, “I fucking hate yoga.”
I’m like, you know it would really do you a world of good, and she’s like, “you know, I tried it and can’t stand the whole zen stuff and it’s too laid back for me.”
Then, she sent me a link to an article about Lindsay and Rage Yoga. And she said, “NOW THIS YOGA, I WOULD DO!” I’m like, REALLY?
So, I shot Lindsay an email, and she said, “funny you should say that, because we are getting ready to do our first-ever yoga teacher training in the states, beginning in Houston,” which is seven or eight hours from me. I went, did it, and came back to that friend, and said, “you said you would do this yoga, well guess what? I’m certified!”
She’s like, “you’re shitting me?!”
I’m like, “nope, I’m a certified BAD-ASS and I got the paperwork to prove it!” And she showed up and so far, she’s been to every class I’ve taught.
GD: Describe the transition for you going from training in a “pop” atmosphere to the Rage Yoga atmosphere?
BL: Personally, I absolutely love the different atmosphere. There’s a time and place for all different types of yoga. I love a more traditional yoga, but there are times that you just…look, we all have a few f-bombs we’ve all been holding in a little too long, you know? To be able to, as a student of yoga, find a place where you can let that out in a healthy, cathartic way is amazing, but as a teacher, to provide a space for people to be able to do that in a very non-judgmental way, soothes the soul.
The Island of Misfit Toys
When we first read about this, our first thought was that there was absolutely no way in hell something like this existed. And that seems to be the general reaction.
“Right??” said Lackey. “If this is the first time you’ve experienced Rage Yoga, it’s going to be very different than anything else you’ve ever done in the yoga world, and that’s okay. This is really a place for anyone that has never really felt they fit in a traditional yoga place. This is a place for you to thrive and find your inner bad-ass.”
GD: What does a class you run ordinarily look like?
BL: Right?? Most of us who are instructors have a deal with a local bar or brewery, which is where we will typically hold our classes. I have a bar in downtown Mobile, Alabama that works with me, and they provide me a space. We promote it and people will come in and set up their mats. I’m typically up on the stage where bands typically are. I’ll allow people to set up their mats, check in to class, get a few adult beverages, because we will take beer breaks and drink breaks throughout the yoga class, and get everyone in. I just let them know that this is going to be different.
In the yoga world, we are the island of misfit toys. I’ll let everyone know that I want them to be cathartic and that we are going to yell out some fucks and some shits, and we’re going to throw up some fireballs and flip people off and double-fisted unicorns. There’s going to be some FUCK YEAHS! You know? Be free, feel free to let it out and realize that I may lead you through poses, but yoga isn’t about poses, it’s really for people who don’t want to pose in their life anymore.
This is what we do. I ask them to get bought in before the class starts. If you are really to ready set aside everything you known about yoga and really buy in, then I need a really big FUCK YEAH before we start this class. Then we go from there and crank up the tunes playing some really good heavy metal and rock music.
GD: What does a class’ demographic look like?
BL: For me, I tend to notice that I have more guys that have never done yoga, trying my classes. I have a lot of your traditional yoga type demographic come in and be like, “hmm, I’m not so sure about this, and I need to know what it’s like.” I get a lot of traditional yogis and I get people who have never done yoga before and who go, “this is pretty fucking awesome.” Right now, there are only sixteen certified Rage Yoga instructors in the world, and I’m the only guy.
GD: Why do you think that is?
BL: I think it being so new is part of it, as there have only been two teacher trainings–one in Canada with three or four people there, and this last one in August, where there were a dozen of us. You know, there’s not a ton of male yoga instructors in the world anyway. When you take that number and then bring it down to those interested in this, because to be a certified Rage Yoga instructor, you have to have a minimum of a 200-hour registered yoga teacher credential already. So, with the limited numbers and people that this really speaks to, um, you know, I’m sure it will grow. I want to own this title while I got it.
GD: Where do you see your classes going in harmony with Rage Yoga’s brand and image?
BL: There’s a lot of things I want to do. I want to be able to work with Lindsay and other Rage Yoga instructors. Right now, we have people in Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, South Florida, Boston, and a lot of different places. I’ve talked with some of them and I want to be able to get to a point where I can do some traveling and introduce Rage Yoga to other people, whether it’s other yoga studios or other training studios, yoga festivals, etc. and pop-up here and there and just do a Rage Yoga class. I want to show the world that yoga does not have to be all quiet and pace. It’s okay to get ZEN AS FUCK.
GD: How would you present this to other Gen X’ers and millennials?
BL: I try to make the world a better place. Instead of pulling weeds, I’m planting flowers. And it’s perfectly okay to plant flowers with a whole ‘lotta fucks! I think every generation honestly can use this. I’m going to be 50 in January, I’m a Gen X’er, but this is across the board for every generation, because we have got to learn how to find a space that we can be ourselves and we can let that rage that we all hold out in a healthy way, in a space that is conducive to it, with other people who will welcome you as one of the tribe.
Rage On Yogis
As for the ultimate vision for Rage Yoga, “it’s meant to be a different approach to yoga for those who find their peaceful center in a different way,” Lindsay Istace, the founder of Rage Yoga told Health.com. In recent coverage by Good Morning America, more new instructors are adopting the practice that also includes alcohol and some other not so family-friendly poses.
“The technique is different,” said Kansas City Instructor Amanda Kauffman, who started rage yoga two years ago, but has been practicing yoga for seven years now. “Instead of calming your mind, you’re bringing everything out. Instead of just trying to push it out quietly, you’re going to push it out, and it’s going to be loud!”
So, what do you think? Are you ready to rage and get some “fucks” out of you?