About Forrest Yoga
About Forrest Yoga
Forrest Yoga®, created by master yogini Ana Forrest, is a vigorous and internally focused practice that emphasizes how to carry a transformative experience off the mat and into daily life. Each class focuses on specific areas and issues, giving special attention to alignment and taking care of oneself. Deep breathing and abdominal exercises work to fortify the core, helping students go deeper into poses, and feel sensations that often go unnoticed. Pose modifications and hands-on assistance are given to tailor poses to meet individual students’ needs. This is a great practice for exploring emotional and mental blocks held in the body, learning to work with injuries, stabilizing muscles, strengthening the core, relaxing the mind, and energizing the spirit.
What distinguishes Forrest Yoga from other types of yoga?
BREATH: Granted, breathing is important to all forms of yoga, but in Forrest Yoga it is paramount. You will be guided to return to your deep and audible breath throughout the practice. Classes typically start with a breathing exercise (pranayama) that allows you to delve deeper into your physical sensations. As your practice progresses, you will become adept at tracking your breath and using it as a barometer for how deep to go in your asana practice.
HEAT: The room is heated to 80-85 degrees. Think hot and sweaty but not on-the-verge-of-passing-out. Forrest Yoga uses heat, vigorous workouts, and deep breathing to help you sweat out that which no longer serves you.
NECK & SHOULDERS: Since it was designed for modern living, Forrest Yoga practices typically begin by targeting chronically tight areas, especially the neck and shoulders. You will not be cued to turn, twist or crane your neck, as in other practices. Instead, the instructor will show you how to relax your neck in yoga poses and teach you exercises to unwind tension in the neck and shoulders.
ABDOMINALS: Next, you move on to sets of abdominal exercises (fondly referred to simply as “Abs”). These are intense and not for the faint-of-heart, but they prepare you for the entire class by firing-up your core. If you can make it through this fierce workout then you’re good-to-go. Note: it gets easier with practice so stick with it and breathing helps!
STRENGTH: Again, you’re probably thinking, don’t all yoga classes build strength? Of course, but in Forrest Yoga you hold postures for 6-8 breaths--much longer than in your typical yoga class. Along with the core work, these long holds help you to build tremendous strength, feel more deeply, and track changes in your body.
BASIC MOVES: There are five basic moves that you do in every single pose: Active Hands and Feet, Telescoping the Ribs, Tucking the Tailbone, Relaxing the Neck, and Wrapping the Shoulders. These basic moves are based on physiological principles and, when followed, lend integrity to each and every movement.
MODIFICATION: Are you injured and therefore nervous about doing yoga? Don’t be. Forrest Yoga allows you to work with injuries and tailor poses to address your specific needs. As you get more in touch with your body, you learn to safely tailor each pose to work best for you.
HANDS-ON ASSISTANCE: A central feature of Forrest Yoga is touch. All Forrest Yoga teachers are trained to touch students in a respectful, mindful and healing manner. Forrest Yoga teachers rarely stay up-front and on their mats. Rather, you can expect the teacher to circulate and offer you skillful adjustments and verbal guidance throughout the practice.
EMOTIONAL HEALING: There is no “zoning out” in Forrest Yoga, instead expect to go DEEP inside. You will work in the poses on an energetic and emotional level as well as a physical one, using them to explore where blockages are held in the body and to release emotional backlog.
SPIRIT: Forrest Yoga honors and celebrates the beauty of life and the power of Spirit. It is an inspiring yoga workout that builds flexibility, intelligence, and strength while helping deepen the relationship with your authentic Self. Forrest Yoga challenges you to heal, grow, and welcome your Spirit home.