Forrest Yoga was created by Ana Forrest in the early 90’s, formed from a combination of traditional Yoga poses (from various lineages, but mainly Iyengar) and modern sports science. The practice has adapted and evolved to incorporate new information as time goes on, with various additions and amendments to help keep the practice from becoming stagnant. There are various up and down levels available for those working with injury or physical limitation.
Each Forrest Yoga class consists of a theme (a physical focus, such as backbends, hip openers, etc) and intent (a mental theme, such as ‘challenge yourself’). As the course progresses both the themes and intents will develop.
The focus of this weeks session is to feel; covering the same poses we covered last week to help really ground that knowledge in your mind, but now with a focus on what your body feels in these positions. We will then move on to some other poses not covered, with some variations to help open the shoulders and hips. There will still be a strong emphasis on the breath as the foundation of the practice.
Set a timer for 3-5 minutes. In a quiet space where you will not be disturbed allow yourself to relax completely, ideally in a reclined position. Check for areas of the body that are difficult to soften – places we usually hold tension, such as the forehead, eyes, neck, lips and tongue. Relax your breath, but be observant of the breath and how it moves in your body. If your attention drifts from what you feel (both physically and mentally) congratulate yourself on being aware that your attention momentarily lapsed, and then come back to the sensation of the passive breath.
- Do you find it hard not to control your breath?
- As you rest in this relaxed pose what can you feel?
- Where is your body in contact with the floor, with clothing, with the air?
- Is it comfortable to relax in this position or do you want to fidget?
- Do you feel tired, or anxious – do you feel you’ve earned the time to rest in this way?
- Is it difficult to stop yourself thinking of what you need to do?
- See how this process changes as you repeat the exercise.
Repeat this process a few times and see how your awareness of your self changes.