forrest yoga

20 Nov

Holy. Crap. That’s the mantra that kept going through my mind yesterday during Colleen Millan’s yoga class.

I remember when I started taking powerful flow classes and I had the same response. Holy. Crap. I want my body to do that. Well, now my body can do that, and of course, I realized quite a while ago, it’s not about that. It’s really not even about the body. That was just the way in for me.

Now that I’m in, it’s hard to find a teacher that can push me in the way I need to be pushed. I’m pretty comfortable sitting with my shit and working through it. I don’t usually avoid hard work.

This Forrest style of yoga is not natural to my body. I don’t like opening my hips first thing in class or not being allowed to throw my chin up for a big, lavish upward-facing dog. I want to do what I know and love. I want to bliss out and float through those flow classes on auto pilot.

I’m finding that new styles of yoga are waking me up. In Colleen’s class on Saturday there were no crazy or fancy poses or vinyasas. No inversions. Just simple yoga with deep breathing, and a lot of awareness. I found myself unable to wander the wilds of my mind, taking class one breath at a time.  The combination of poses with precise alignment actually has me sore today! I haven’t been sore after a yoga class for several months. It may not be the style I gravitate to, but it is just what I need. Colleen is the real deal, check out her class on Saturdays, 8am at The Yoga Co.

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8 Responses to “forrest yoga”

  1. seangreenfrog November 21, 2007 at 11:59 pm #

    I’ve been lucky enough to attend a couple of workshops from Ana Forrest. Every time I do so, I’m re-impressed at the sheer power of yoga. While I enjoy kirtan and chanting, it’s always a good reminder that the combination of posture and breath and mindfulness opens all kinds of different gateways inside me.

  2. barefootbhakti November 22, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    I think that’s a great way to put it. It opens a different gateway. It’s always fun to meander on a new path. Well, maybe I wouldn’t call Forrest yoga fun, but it is definitely interesting and I love to keep learning.

  3. Danelle November 28, 2007 at 4:26 am #

    Hi Laurie…loved your response about Colleen’s class and thank you for posting it. As an advocate and teacher of Forrest Yoga I understand exactly what you mean about wanting to go into auto pilot and just flow. I like that too sometimes. Forrest Yoga just makes one “go deeper” and promotes profound healing and mental strength. Forrest yoga is the only style of yoga that has ever made me think “wow, that was different and super powerful stuff.” It touches you in way that you may have not been touched before. Colleen IS the real deal and I am glad to hear that you went and enjoyed the experience. I would like to note that Ana is coming to do a 2 day workshop at YogaFlow in March 08′ and hope to see you there.

    Much Love, Danelle

  4. barefootbhakti November 28, 2007 at 7:41 am #

    Danelle – yes, I think I’m ready to study with Ana. My birthday is in March so I can probably pull that off. I’m also glad to have a good Saturday option at YC… 8am is great because it doesn’t take all day. As a teacher, I’m really impressed with how Colleen keeps reign over the class. She really keeps everyone with her.

  5. Danelle November 28, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    Ana trains her teachers this way. Ana believes yoga is serious business and she doesn’t want students playing around in class and losing focus. It’s a different approach. I love it, but that’s not to say that a light, fun flow class isn’t refreshing. I can find the juice in most anything. The trouble I find is that many times flow classes are thrown together without much thought put into sequencing sensibly and that can be dangerous and cause students to be prone to injury if they are not particularly body aware…even if they are, injury is common.

  6. barefootbhakti November 29, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    I would have to agree about the class sequencing. A little thought and preparation goes a long way. One of the reasons I was drawn to flow was because of the joy I found so easily in the actual vinyasa and movement from my body. It was healing in the sense that I found freedom from the rigidity of life. Living without dogma is great. Sometimes, that joy seems to be lacking in the classes that are stern and serious. The longer I take class and teach class, I appreciate a balance of the two. You are great at doing that in your classes. I think it’s only worth working through the crap if you can find the joy underneath!

  7. Danelle November 29, 2007 at 1:31 pm #

    Absolutely…finding balance is an ongoing practice for me both on and off the mat. Most often these days my focus is to cultivate a sense joy and delight during my practice whether the work is stern and serious, or free flowing. However, in my experience walking through fire and darkness, no matter how unpleasant, is necessary for one to truly heal and find a brightness inside. Only after I had cleared through the muck was I able to breathe, embrace life, and live again. Both are/were necessary tools on my healing path.

  8. Danelle January 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Chk this new demo out…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTcLhOlIk5I

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