Root Yoga Center hosted world renowned yoga teacher, Ana Forrest, for a teacher training and daily, intensive yoga practices all last month. There were a couple hundred practitioners that participated in one way or another and the mass feedback was that they loved it. Several people said it changed their lives, changed their perspective, shifted a long held belief or behavior, and made them a better version of themselves. Wow. That is no small feat, and a testament to the amazing power and teaching ability of Ana Forrest. We spoke with Lauren Turnage, Co-Owner of Root Yoga Center, Forrest Yoga Teacher, and new Mom about her experience as a host and participant in the intensives.
What is it like practicing with Ana Forrest?
There truly is nothing like having Ana as your yoga teacher for a month. She is incredibly skilled at holding the energy in the room and creating a warm, welcoming space. There may be 80 people in the class but it feels like she is touching you with her energy and talking right to you with her message at all times.
What were the intensive daily practices like??
I have practiced with Ana in various formats in the past (teacher trainings, workshops, etc) but this was different and special for me because I just had a baby (literally 2 months ago). After giving birth by body was rather void of sensation, felt flabby and loose and just not connected. In her classes I was able to connect to, and deeply feel my body in a whole new way. I could feel every little physical and emotional movement inside of myself like never before.
It was also really great how she structured the sequences of the classes and the postures in such an intentional way. The first couple classes were relatively easy but build upon each other, so that by the last week you had the strength to do the more difficult/challenging postures. AND by the end of the month my core and abs looked like I had never even had a child. Forrest abs pulled everything together, tight!
Where you able to get one-on-one attention from Ana?
Part of Ana’s gift is that she sees everything that is happening in the room. She connects with her eyes, her energy and her touch. If she knows your name she is calling you out to make adjustments from across the room. If not you would still receive at least one hands-on assist during the class from her or her assistants.
What kind of class size? Who were the people in the class?
There were about 30-40 practitioners in addition to the 40 teacher trainees in each of the intensive classes. Within the group were a wide range of folks – from those who have practiced with Ana for years to some who have only done a handful of Forrest classes.
What type of shift did you experience in your yoga practice or otherwise?
About halfway through the month I had this incredible settled and grounded feeling in my body that was like nothing I have ever felt before. There was a new desire to be in my body and make new mind/body connections. I felt able and willing let go of some of the stuff that got built up over my pregnancy, release emotions, and to be content with staying in this sacred place.
What was your biggest take away or from her visit?
Coming into it as a teacher I have a different perspective – I want to enhance my teaching. I was incredibly inspired by how Ana set the theme and carried it through the class. You can take (or teach) a class and just go through the movements, OR you can use the movements to learn something new and exciting about yourself. This happens by connecting to something inside yourself which is facilitated by the teacher. This is an art form I hope to perfect one day.
Root Yoga Center will be bringing Ana Forrest back to Denver in the coming months. For more information on local Ana Forrest events go to http://www.rootyogacenter.com/ana-forrest-denver-workshop/