Like many of the finer things in life– beer, wine, oysters, dark comedy, etc. yoga can be an acquired taste. Personally, I fell in love with yoga as soon as I stepped foot on a mat, but for others I know this not to be the case. Many of my friends and even my fiancé have had to do it several times until realizing they enjoy it.
I’ve had a similar experience with acquring a taste for Forrest Yoga. The first time I tried Forrest Yoga I didn’t care for it. I felt like it was a class that moved too slow, and my body didn’t enjoy being in postures for more than 4 breaths. I didn’t understand the purpose of it, or the intention behind it.
Several months later I tried Forrest Yoga again at Sanctuary Yoga. I came only because I knew that I would enjoy any class taught by Sanctuary Yoga’s lovely instructor Jenny Lim, and because it was a convenient time. What I learned from my second Forrest Yoga class is that many of the postures in a Forrest Yoga class are included and adapted specifically for modern socitety. In the west, and especially in modern times, many of us suffer from a weak core, tight shoulders, neck pain and shallow breathing. Forrest yoga takes care of all of these ailments, with a practice that starts off with pranayama to warm your insides before moving.
In my most recent Forrest yoga class at Sanctuary Yoga I experienced lots of core work, breath work and poses that induced shoulder opening. After several seated postures that included no small amount of twisting we moved into some sun salutations. In a few standing postures we even utilized the wall to create shoulder opening, which I had never experienced before. My favorite part of class was a standing pose that created a great release on both sides of my neck. The pace of the class helped me go more deeply into certain postures than I usually do, which was extremely beneficial.
Learning that Ana Forrest had modern society in mind when she adapted several of her yoga sequences, helped me appreciate it and enjoy it even more. The slow pace of the class made me grateful for the strength I was recieving, and my sore body the next day helped solidify my choice to try it again soon. It’s interesting how knowing the intention behind a posture or type of yoga helps to create greater appreciation and fullfillment!
Ana Forrest, creator of Forrest Yoga