Forrest Yoga is a style that uses intense yoga pose sequences to help develop the skill to awaken each of your senses. It teaches you to bring awareness using your breathing skills into each cell of your body and awakens your spirit for living. This style of yoga will focus on strengthening your abdomen and low back muscles, otherwise known as the “core”. Through yoga teacher training we learn how to use yoga to our greatest benefit and this style too will teach us how to relax our minds and bodies bringing peace into our lives.
Once you have decided to try and participate in the Forrest Yoga style, there are three positions that a beginner can start with. Your yoga teacher will be able to guide you if they know what level of experience you have.
Hands and Knees Balance
One of the best beginner’s poses for Forrest Yoga is the Hands and Knees balance pose. It is great for strengthening and toning your muscles. To begin the pose you get down on the mat on all fours. Make sure that you have your hands positioned directly below your shoulders and that your knees are on the mat directly below your hips. Let you shins rest comfortably on the mat while the top of your feet are flat on the mat. Take some deep calming breaths. While you release your breath, slowly extend your right arm out in front of your body. It should look like your arm is an extension of your spine. Make sure that your hand stays at the same level as your shoulder. While holding the arm extended out slowly extend your left leg out back behind you. Make sure to keep your foot at the same height as your hip. While holding this pose keep both your arm and leg extended and hold for at least 30 seconds. Slowly bring your arm and leg back to a resting position. After a short rest, switch sides and repeat the pose with your left arm and right leg extended. Yoga teaching will help you recognize that your arm and leg are at the correct height. If you are not sure you can practice this pose in front of a mirror.
Yoga teacher training will also guide you to the Plank Pose. This is another pose that can easily be done by anyone and another great pose for beginners. To start this pose you should be on your mat on all fours. Make sure that you have both hands positioned directly under your shoulders with your fingers all spaced wide apart. Start by taking a few good deep breaths. As you release the breath, use the muscles in your core to lift your knees off the ground. The only parts of your body that should be touching the mat at this point should be your hands and feet. Slowly, you can step your feet away from your hands, so that you create a line with your body from your shoulders to your feet. Continue to use your core muscles to prevent your lower back from sagging. Find a spot out in front of you a few feet from your yoga mat or look down at the mat between your hands. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds to get the most benefit.
Yoga teaching will also teach you the Boat Pose. This is another great pose that helps strengthen the abdomen and low back. To begin this pose you should sit down on your mat with both your legs extended out in front of you. Take a few cleansing and deep breaths. Slowly, roll onto your tailbone with your chest and abdomen exposed to the sky. Slowly, lift both legs off the ground while keeping them as straight and extend as possible. The higher you can lift your legs the easier this pose will become. Now, lift both hands off the mat and extend both arms out in front of you at a height close to what your legs are. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds for the most benefit. Yoga teacher training will help you modify this pose for anyone struggling.
Take a risk and try participating in a Forrest Yoga class session. The instructor will know from their yoga teacher training how far they can push you. They have gone through yoga certification and will know how to modify any poses so that you can get the most benefit out of your yoga practice. Take a class, you will sweat, get stronger, release your tension and anxiety, and start to breathe much easier!
Forrest Yoga may not be offered at Anamaya Resort but we want you to know all the different styles that are being shared out in the yoga communities around the world.