Forrest yoga has only been around for a millisecond in relation to traditional yoga’s vast history. Forrest yoga only came into existence in the last 40 years. It was created by Ana Forrest as a way to help her and others deal with traumatic life events. Ana Forrest was sexually abused as a child and turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with that traumatic abuse. She finally found the healing that she needed within yoga and became an instructor at 18 years old. As her love for yoga blossomed, she began to create a new type of yoga to help the other people. Forrest yoga’s focus is to connect yoga and emotional healing to help those that have suffered. Ana Forrest wants to bring the human Spirit back through her practice.
Traditional yoga has a healing aspect to it, but Forrest yoga takes the healing part of yoga to a whole new level. Forrest altered her practice to include homeopathic and naturopathic remedies. Her yoga classes are taught by using methods from an intellectual stand point by using anatomy, reflexology, pressure point therapy, craniosacral therapies, Shiatsu, chiropractic, polarity, and hands of healing. Her goal is to take practice beyond the mat. She wants to teach people to become more self-aware in order to cleanse and heal their bodies.
The mental and emotional cleansing helps to unblock strife in people’s lives and allow them to become their whole being. She also modifies the physical aspect of yoga to address modern human’s physical ailments such as lower and upper back pain, neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and intestinal disorders. Forrest yoga aims to help the modern human conquer life both physically and mentally.
Forrest yoga is based around the four pillars: breath, strength, integrity, and spirit.
- Breath: used to connect with the body on a deeper level. Deep and thoughtful breaths awaken the cells and makes the body feel more electric and alive. It allows us to appreciate life on a deeper level.
- Strength: used to connect with the core. Holding poses awakens the senses and are used to strengthen the core muscles. The heat produced from the intensity of practice helps detoxify the body and to rejuvenate cells.
- Integrity: you have to modify the poses in your practice to avoid emotional and physical injuries. This teaches you to know your limits which in turn transfers over into knowing your limits in everyday life.
- Spirit: Connecting to your Spirit helps create freedom and to become more connected to yourself.
Forrest yoga is yoga for the modern human. Its goal is to take yoga beyond the mat by finding the power of your Spirit. Traumatic events can affect an entire life. An individual can go down a dark path of self-hate and abuse. Ana Forrest has been down that path and has, in turn, created something beautiful to give people an alternative to drinking and using drugs to help them deal with their past. Forrest yoga celebrates life, helps the body heal, and deepens self-love and awareness.