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An Introduction to Forrest Yoga

Art_11_Forrest_YogaForrest Yoga helps you connect to your core - getting strong and centered. It uses heat, deep breathing (pranayama) and vigorous sequences to sweat out toxins. The long holds in the pose progressions help you flush, oxygenate and rejuvenate every cell as well as refine your relationship to it. For beginners to Forrest Yoga, you learn to connect your breath to intention and connection to feeling in your body. Learning to work honestly at your edges, you develop effective tools to deal with fear and struggle. As your connection to core deepens you awaken the body's inherent wisdom of self-knowing. This makes it possible for integrity, self-awareness & playful curiosity to become part of your daily life.

Forrest Yoga does not require strength or flexibility; it only requires that you bring a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly. People with injuries or limitations are encouraged to attend. As you advance in Forrest Yoga, step by step, you learn to intelligently ride your breath into the exhilarating advanced poses. You learn to exercise your emotional body through the full spectrum of feeling.

Come to class in comfortable clothing and with an empty stomach. All yoga props are provided. We recommend bringing a water bottle and having your own mat.

Basic Forrest Yoga:

A basic Forrest Yoga class is suitable for anyone who would like a gentle, slower paced, stress reducing yoga class. Individuals with physical injuries or limitations, such as arthritis, diabetes, mental stress, postnatal, overweight and other issues, will find this class not just helpful, but enjoyable too! The yoga poses will be gentle and restorative; mostly floor and wall work with yoga props for comfort. Deep breathing will be taught. This type of yoga helps to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system also known as the PNS. Stimulating the PNS helps to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, stimulates the immune system and much, much more.

Prenatal Yoga:

Inside of you is an innate wisdom that intuitively understands the very natural process of birth. We help you reconnect with this wisdom, guiding you through a class specifically designed for the journey of pregnancy. Linking yoga postures with the breath will lead you to new discoveries, bringing awareness to the mind, body and spirit, and also the spirit of your baby.

The program, conducted in a calm, peaceful environment will help strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles, improve circulation, aid in digestion, exercise the spine and increase overall comfort. Yoga can also alleviate many of the discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, constipation, varicose veins, swelling, back pain and sciatica. A safe, open community allows you to freely discuss any issues, from discomforts and concerns, to the wonderful new changes your body and baby are experiencing.

AcroYoga:

AcroYoga blends the spiritual wisdom of yoga, the loving kindness of Thai massage, and the dynamic power of Acrobatics. These three ancient lineages form the foundation of a unique new practice that cultivates trust, connection and playfulness. Our highest aim is to bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, with each other, and with the divine. From this place of mutual support the true self can be realized, honored and shared for the benefit of all. Om Shanti

There are many structures or sequences in an AcroYoga class. Some of the elements included are:

  1. Circle Ceremony: The circle initiates the ceremonious joining of our yoga community with a flow of integrated movements. Here we establish connection with those around us and cultivate our openness to the divine. The circle ceremony sets the tone and theme for our journey together.
  2. Asana Warm up: Asana warms the body and grounds us individually in preparation for partner work. A mirrored partner asana flow helps to develop concentration, focus, and flexibility. This is an opportunity to look outside ourselves and open our awareness to the common experience.
  3. Partner Flow: Partner Flow is a creative sequence of mutually beneficial partner asanas and stretches. Communication, self-acceptance and honesty are the roots of the partner experience. Central to this practice are trust and compassion, the first two observances of Yoga. When two become one, we become breath in motion together.
  4. Inversions: Inversions turn our world upside down and bring out our childlike nature. Inversions force us to summon our courage and let go of fear. Spotting techniques develop deeper levels of trust, building the foundation for acrobatic partner skills.
  5. Partner Acrobatics: Partner Acrobatics is the most dynamic expression of this work. Greater levels of risk amplify the need for heightened trust, concentration and presence. After developing our base of partner skills, we are ready to rise to the challenge of group formations and pyramids.
  6. Flying: Flying flows can range from gentle, massage-based stretches to more dynamic balancing or acrobatic sequences. Therapeutic flying utilizes gravity to release and open the flyers' spine while grounding and empowering the base. This is the nectar of AcroYoga, otherwise known as Anti-Gravitational Spinal Elongation. The gentle kindness of Metta can be transmitted from the base to the flyer.
  7. Thai Massage: Thai Massage is a healing art that combines massage and yoga asana with an emphasis on "metta," or loving kindness. Once the flyer lands, the role of giver and receiver shift. The flyer can give back to the base the metta that was offered during the flying. It cultivates the healing capacity of the giver and uses passive yoga stretches to open energy lines in the receiver. It is a time to honor and express gratitude to our partners.

Photo by Joseph Renger.