Say “Forrest Yoga” to most people, and they’ll most likely respond, “Is that where you do yoga around trees?” Forrest Yoga is something entirely different. It’s a unique system of practising yoga created by Ana Forrest with teachers and practitioners all over the globe, and is renowned for its ability to help people heal and connect with their wisest selves through yoga. If you’re interested in giving it a whirl (or already have!), read on to learn about its benefits!
What is it?
Forrest Yoga is a practice designed around four pillars: breath, strength, integrity and spirit. It is aimed to promote healing in the body and mind, to address the current physical conditions that develop in the modern life, and to connect practitioners to a greater web of humanity through their own awareness. Known as a deep physical practice combined with a deep internal process element, Forrest Yoga brings as much delight as it does challenge to its practitioners.
BREATH = focus on long, deep, clearing breaths and specific pranayama exercises.
STRENGTH = hold poses longer than other styles of yoga, develop strong attention to the moment, and activate areas of the body used for support that may be turned off from daily life.
INTEGRITY = align the poses in a way that helps the body release tension and develop strength. Align the mind with a specific intent that is followed throughout the entire practice.
SPIRIT = develop connections to an inner wisdom and insight as a potent force for guiding life on and off the mat.
Who does it benefit?
Everyone! The sequencing techniques utilised by teachers make each practice accessible to all levels – from absolute newbies to full-fledged advanced practitioners – through the incorporation of various stages of poses. The therapeutic aspects of Forrest Yoga poses are ideal for helping bodies heal from musculo-skeletal restrictions or injuries. All Forrest Yoga teachers are trained to help students modify their practice for a variety of limitations and restrictions – whether an illness, an injury, or something else. Athletes will find they can make the practice quite vigorous and strengthening, and those looking for a great stretch will find that too! Additionally, practitioners interested in the qualities of meditation and awareness will not be left out as there is a lot of intentionality at the forefront of this practice. At its core, Forrest Yoga teaches about feeling in the moment through sensation and breath, and that is something everyone at any age can relate to. In short: there’s something for everyone and Forrest Yoga teachers are known for their ability to teach each individual in the realm of a full class.
What are the Benefits of Forrest Yoga?
Forrest Yoga is a great practice for developing a capacity for deep breathing. It will strengthen your core muscles in ways other practices will not. The classes will develop a profound internal insight and wisdom within you. You will learn how to work through any physical conditions you currently have or that you encounter along your life path. This practice will release common areas of tension in the shoulders, wrists, neck, back and the abdomen/gut area. You will leave this powerful practice feeling clearer, grounded, centred and steady.
What to Expect in Class
- Abdominal work
- Longer pose holds
- Reminders to breathe deeply
- Lion’s breaths and possible howling
- Elements of Intuition and Inner Wisdom Tied Into Physical Practice
- Brightly coloured and patterned clothing
- Incredibly knowledgeable and healing teachers