Friday, October 28, 2011

Focus on: Forrest Yoga

So I started yoga at a new studio this week, Back Bay Yoga.  I joined for a few reasons such as fantastic reviews, a buywithme coupon :), class selection is very diverse, and I fell in love with their Hip Hop Yoga at Salutation Nation.  Now I went to my first class on Sunday, which was a Core Vinyasa class, in a heated room, which was delightfully relaxing, yet challenging and provided me with a good sweat on an otherwise lazy Sunday.
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Wednesday night I decided to try out one of their Forrest Classes, which also takes place in a heated room.  This class, however, was significantly more intense than the previous yoga classes I have tried.  It is made up of several physically intense, and mentally focused moves, which are intended to cleanse the emotional and mental mind blocks that accompany our everyday lives.  It is also developed to help heal and support the body from the environmental ailments we each face, such as tight upper back and shoulder pain.
No, not that kind of forest...Forrest yoga is a whole nother story
The class I was able to attend, focused largely on opening our shoulders and concentrating specifically on not tightening up our shoulder blades.  It took a lot of focus on balance, core, and keeping those shoulders loose, in order to complete and hold each move.  I had to keep reminding myself that chest openers, don't have to mean squeezing together the shoulder blades (like I had done previously), but rather focusing on pulling the shoulders/arms away and back.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga Chest Openers?
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The class started with upper back opening poses, such as laying with block under upper back, as well as several twisting poses in lunges.
Supported Chest Opener
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Now what is the difference between Forrest and Core or Restorative yoga?  Forrest Yoga is founded on 4 pillars (taken from ForrestYoga.com):

  • BREATH Forrest Yoga teaches you how to breathe deeply, connect in feeling with your body, use the power of breath to bring aliveness into every cell of your body and ignite your passion for living.

  • STRENGTH  Forrest Yoga teaches you to connect to your core, to be strong and centered. The intense pose sequences are designed to help you develop the skills to awaken each of your senses. The long holds help you progress in the poses and go deeper. Aided by the use of heat, your body is freed from toxins; the deep breathing  oxygenates and rejuvenates every cell in your body.
  • INTEGRITY  Forrest Yoga teaches you to become proficient at safely tailoring each pose to work best for you, particularly with physical and emotional injuries. By learning to work honestly at your edges, you develop effective tools to deal with fear and struggle. This makes it possible for integrity, self-awareness and playful curiosity to become part of your daily life.
  • SPIRIT  Forrest Yoga's intent is to create a sense of freedom, a connection to your Spirit and the courage to walk as your Spirit dictates.

From my own experience, I had a little trouble keeping up with the different types of breathing and deep belly breathes, but I think with more practice, I will be better able to enjoy in their benefits.  I also have never had to hold poses for so long, as I had to with Forrest...it was tough! The poses were intense, and included some binds, and core movement.  My obliques are still sore, 2 days later!

The integrity piece was definitely contagious, as the teacher provided moves for every level or modification, so that we all could feel comfortable with the moves, regardless of what level we were or if we had injuries to watch out for - a very encompassing feeling for sure.
This zen thing is not me...
The spirit part never really happened, as I don't have a deep spiritual connection to yoga like so many can find.  I am not ruling out my ability to find zen in yoga, but I just am not there yet.  Yoga to me is still another form of exercise, that allows me to gain strength, confidence in myself, and experience deep stretching.

I would definitely recommend trying this variation of yoga, especially if you are in need a of new challenge in the practice, physically and/or mentally.

If you want to find out some more information about Forrest Yoga, you can check out ForrestYoga.com or HERE.
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Have you ever tried Forrest Yoga?


What is your favorite type of yoga?

I fell in love with the Hip Hop yoga - I am going to try it out again tomorrow!

Do you fall asleep during shavasana? 

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures. I haven't heard of Forrest Yoga before but I am no yogi, that is for sure. I do some standing poses and a few on the floor poses only.

    I am glad you found something new you like!

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  2. i'm HORRIBLE at yoga, but know its something I need to do- my body will thank me later I just don't have the discipline to do it!

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  3. I LOVE yoga and when I first got here I thought that was YOU in the pink suit - I was like, WOAH girl you are incredible :) lol

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  4. hip hop yoga?!? that sounds like fun!!

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  5. it is inspiring to me to read about your love for yoga...i like it because it feels relaxing to me but i never necessarily experience the strength, etc from it. but i also dont try it enough to really give it a chance...that is probably key. thanks for sharing these points and your experience!

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  6. Howdy! I'm new here. I'm looking forward to catching up. I found you through Kari's bake sale. I got outbid twice for your homemade Oreos. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing the recipe. The picture alone makes my mouth water!

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  7. you really want those headbands eh? :P lol xoxox

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  8. I've never really gotten into the whole zen part of yoga either....but I think yoga is a wonderful workout and I really enjoy the physical benefits and it does make me feel super relaxed. It's been way too long since I last went!

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  9. I LOVE me some hot yoga and always (almost) fall asleep during shavasana... I think it's the most peaceful, relaxing thing in the world!

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