When you hear the term Forrest Yoga does your mind automatically go to a leafy forest and doing yoga under the shade of the trees. As beautiful as this would be it is not the true essence of Forrest Yoga. Forrest yoga was developed by Ana Forrest and was designed to address modern-day ailments such as lower back pain, tension in the neck and core, anxiety, over-stimulation, and a sense of disconnection from self and others but also disconnection from the earth itself.
If you are looking to increase your strength and stamina, release tension and stress, improve your breathing, reconnect to your body, and build a personal healing practice, Forrest Yoga may the style that resonates with you.
Forrest Yoga does not require you to be strong or flexible, but it does require you to be willing to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly. You need to be willing to show up for yourself on the mat. Forrest Yoga strives to unite us with our spirits, which may have been knocked out of our bodies through trauma or shattered in pieces by life experiences. Forrest yoga helps us all live with more consciousness and connectedness. Forrest Yoga has a way to bring limitations to the surface and it also has a way to facilitate change, so your blocks and limits no longer define you.
It is an intensely physical yet internally focused practice that shows you how to carry the transformative experience you have on the mat into daily life. By slowing the practice down and holding asana poses for long periods of time, feelings and sensations can arise. These can be triggering however in Forrest yoga we have a saying ‘Never waste a good Trigger’. This is where the healing happens. Forrest yoga teaches us to feel, how to breathe and how to burst through limiting beliefs. For some it teaches them how to live again.
The beauty of Forrest Yoga is its inclusivity; there really is something for everyone no matter what your level of flexibility or strength is. The philosophy is ‘What part of this pose can I do?’. We practice with curiosity which is especially useful when dealing with injuries. We literally learn to move in a new way to heal the body rather than hurt it: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The focus on the breath and abdominals means you leave class revitalised rather than drained. You know you have worked but you feel nourished, alive and full of vitality.
The conscious control of breath allows us to shift our nervous system state on demand which is excessively powerful in today’s stressful living conditions. We learn to downshift when we are highly strung or up level when we feel dull or lifeless. Pranyama is used at the beginning of class to build heat in the body, get you out of your head and into your feeling body. You will learn how to direct your breath to specific areas to bring healing, space and connection to the body, mind and spirit.
Forrest yoga is intense yet healing.
It is fierce yet soft.
It is euphoric yet grounding. But one thing is true, words will never do it justice – It is an experience which needs to be felt.