What is Forrest Yoga and is it right for you? Forrest Yoga is named after Ana Forrest who developed her series of intense yoga poses across 30 years of her life. Her intent was to help people heal their emotional pain. Her philosophy is that emotional pain lives in your body. If you want to be free of it, you have to find out where in your body emotional traumas have settled and then release them.
As Ana Forrest describes on her website, she was “born crippled.” Her life was filled with a series of problems including physical abuse, bulimia, drug addiction and epilepsy. She took her first yoga class at the age of 14 and by age 18, she was a certified yoga instructor. For Ana Forrest, yoga and other healing approaches were a way to free herself from the grips of the various traumas and health issues in her life.
The strenuous poses of Forrest Yoga are intended to wake up each of your senses. The conscious awareness of your breath brings oxygen to your cells and helps you feel alive. Forrest Yoga aims to give you a sense of freedom from your troubles, connect you to your spirit and give you physical and spiritual strength. It draws on the use of heat and challenging poses and positions to help you eliminate toxins.
Ana Forrest argues that as you work at your own pace and push yourself to work with your emotional and physical injuries, you are forced to face your struggles and your fears. As you do this, you open the door to greater integrity in your life. You arrive at a place of greater self awareness. Once you release the deep emotional hurts, you also become more playful and more joyful.
Is Forrest Yoga for You?
This yoga practice is strongly rooted in the interconnection between the mind, body, emotions and spirit. Do emotional injuries reside in your body and does conscious awareness and physical awareness help to release these injuries? Forrest Yoga holds this as its firm philosophy. To truly benefit from this yoga practice, you have to be willing to embrace this perspective.
If you are open to facing your fears and emotional struggles, then Forrest Yoga may be for you. Some people are not comfortable undergoing this process in a group setting or with the guidance of other people. This is an important question to ask yourself before embarking on Forrest Yoga.
From a physical standpoint, Forrest Yoga is intended to work with all levels of ability. A high quality teacher will create a space in which you can move at your own pace. The practice itself does not demand a high degree of flexibility and strength. This is a plus for anyone who is deterred by aggressive physical activities.
All in all, Forrest Yoga is not just another form of exercise. It aims to address the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of a person. If your goal is greater self awareness, toxin and emotional release, and greater energy, then Forrest Yoga may be for you.