It is with great delight that I can introduce myself as the newest addition to YogaVenue’s teaching team. My name is Hinny Wass and I teach Forrest Yoga. If you’ve not tried Forrest Yoga before, let me explain a little about the class and what to expect.
What is Forrest Yoga?
Forrest Yoga is a form of Vinyasa Yoga developed by Ana Forrest. It aims to counteract the damage done by sitting in front of a computer for long hours, calm stress, replace numbness with feeling, and help practitioners shift the physical and emotional blocks which are limiting them. Here are a few things that Forrest Yoga is known for:
1) A relaxed neck
When your body perceives stress it reacts in the only way it knows: by getting you ready to run or fight. Blood flow is directed away from ‘non-essential’ areas like the stomach and the brain, and breathing is taken up into the top of the chest, using the muscles of the neck and around the collarbones to drag air quickly into the lungs. So far, so evolutionary. The only problem is that the body then senses that it is in stress response and concludes that there must be something to be stressed about! It’s a feedback loop: stress causes stress. In a Forrest Yoga class we will work with a relaxed neck, which helps students break this cycle by changing the posture to tell the body that everything is fine. It may seem a little different but you get used to it very quickly.
2) Abs, abs, abs!
When people think about Forrest Yoga they think of abs! There is a good dose of abdominal work in every Forrest class. Abs exercises help to strengthen the core which improves your balance and protects your spine. They’re also really good for releasing tension in the low back, and helping with digestive problems. A key aspect of Forrest Yoga is developing muscle tone around the joints, so that the joints are protected and kept spacious. Strong abdominal muscles mean you can begin to lift up out of any collapse in the hips and low back, reducing the risk of injury and the risk of pain from trapped nerves.
3) Active feet
Just as strong abs help protect the low back and hips, active feet turn on the muscles that protect the ankle and knee joints. One of my favourite things about my Forrest Yoga practice is feeling the upward lift and feeling of space inside that muscular strength enables.
Spirit is best defined as your essence, your you-ish-ness, your intuition. Forrest Yoga aims to help students begin to listen to, and honour, the voice of their Spirit. This starts with learning to use movement and breath to track feeling, and is one of the most important and exciting journeys a person can take.
By Hinny Wass
The best way to find out more about Forrest Yoga is to come try a class! Hinny teaches Forrest Yoga every Friday at 10.30am.