People get so confused with the name "Forrest Yoga", especially since I'm a tree-hugging sort of person. Their faces tend to drop when I say that Forrest Yoga is named after Ana Forrest, and nothing to do with trees! Then I explain, and their faces light up again.
Forrest Yoga was created by Ana Forrest over the years as a tool to carry out her life's mission of "mending the hoop of the people". Ana Forrest used yoga to heal herself from a traumatic childhood which she describes in her book Fierce Medicine. This means that Forrest Yoga is at heart a practice of self-healing, and also that healing in the emotional body is given careful attention. It doesn't necessarily mean you'll cry in class - but you will most likely learn to breathe in a way that releases stuck emotions and helps you to ride the intense feelings that come up when you go into a deep pose.
One day Ana Forrest, already a yoga teacher, was meeting a friend at a cafe. The floor collapsed underneath one of the chairlegs, catapulting her forwards, and, mid-air, to avoid a brain injury, she twisted in a way that injured her back. Whilst teaching for several months laid flat on the floor with her eyes closed (Ana Forrest can "See" energy and was able to correct her students' energetic misalignments without normal looking), she further developed her practice to enhance its potential for healing. Forrest Yoga is amazing for self-healing any type of injury but it's revolutionary to those with back pain.
Hallmark differences between Forrest and other styles include abdominal exercises, a relaxed neck and active feet. It manages to be intense but accessible at the same time, and it's a very different experience from a vinyasa flow class, as poses are held and there is internal exploration during the longer holds.
The Functional Anatomy of Yoga with Forrest Yoga Guardian Jambo Truong
More info and book here.
Jambo's workshop this April will be an amazing chance to see the cutting edge of Forrest Yoga, where researched anatomy meets asana. Jambo is an expert in his field and he has a distinctive teaching style, looking deeply into the energetic patterns in the body as well as the precise muscles and tendons being worked. He is also a brilliant breath teacher and his breathing tuition alone will provide lasting value even without the other treats in store at the workshop. Don't expect it to be dry or boring either, as "hands-on" is likely to be an understatement: anatomy for Jambo has to be experienced internally to be understood. Expect to be entranced in sage smoke, drenched in sweat and to laugh till you cry, and then to hug everyone in sight. That's the cutting edge of Forrest Yoga - take it or leave it!
You can discover the joy of Forrest Yoga at CAMYOGA with our regular classes below:
Rosalind Southward on Mondays at Central 6:30-7:45
Hannah Floyd at Mitcham's 6:30-7:45.
Click here to view our weekly schedule and to book.
Thanks to Hannah Floyd for contributing this article for our blog!
Do you love Forrest yoga? Tell us what inspires you about this style of yoga in the comments.