As the author of Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit and creator of Forrest yoga, Ana has set out to help heal the spirit of people worldwide. Forrest yoga is intensely active both physically and spiritually/emotionally. Throughout the postures and breathing the intention is to realise the the emotional and mental blocks that are dictating our daily lives. The core pillars of the practice are breath, strength, integrity and spirit.
Using breath to connect to your inner body and mind. Breathing in and then exhaling loudly and fully all of the emotional stress you are locking inside of you.
Every movement comes from your core (abdomen) holding it strong to support your body throughout the many difficult postures taken during Forrest. These challenging poses require you awaken all of your body’s senses whilst holding them. The poses are held for long periods of time making you fully concentrate and go deeper into them. This effects your muscle strength, meditative strength to stay calm, and also your emotional strength to deal with whatever feeling come up in the process.
Each posture is to be taken to the edge of your capability, exercising you to deal with a physical struggle which can unlock your ability to handle your emotional ones. This roots you in self-awareness.
You are booth physically and figuratively going deeper throughout the practice. Locating your authentic self.
The true intent of Forrest is to help you unlock your spiritual freedom within you. Many other forms of yoga are working towards finding a higher state of meditation, but not in Forrest. Ana wanted to work on the spirit that is within us—freeing it, healing it and embracing it.
“I developed Forrest Yoga as I was working through my own healing. I took poses and modified or created new ones to address today’s lifestyle physical ailments. For example, the ailments that our bodies are manifesting due to our lifestyle – lower and upper back pain, neck and shoulder issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, intestinal disorders. We also crave and need challenge, adventure and a daily diet of delight. In my own healing quest, I recognized my loss of Spirit. Something I now see in others – this modern day sense of bereft Spirit. Through Forrest Yoga you get your physical health and strength and also a place in which to welcome your Spirit back home. And by this I do not mean a spiritual practice but rather being your authentic self.”
Initially, this is what interested me in learning more about Forrest yoga and potentially becoming part of it. I was lucky enough to find a neo-tribe within the global network right here in Dalston. Under the caring tutelage of Ellie, I embarked on a spiritual journey I had not expected.