I started teaching Forrest Yoga here last week. I’m teaching an Introductory Forrest class from 9:30 to 11 on Thursday mornings. Forrest Yoga for fun from 11:30 to 1. My schedule will remain current on Yoga With Lael.
I’m starting a class called “Yoga for Ninjas”. I’m not kidding.
Ninjas develop stealth and agility. Not looking for power, but length and strength. Ninjas require discipline and evoke a sense of fun and super skills.
Yoga for ninjas is a tutelage. It is a personal quest to track how your body moves through space– your inner sensations and their reflection in the external world.
Historically, ninjas were Japanese mercenaries, hired as spies, saboteurs and assassins. In training, we assume their physical skills and mental strength for self-construction instead of violence. This physical strength and discipline empowers our daily experience, confidence and personal awareness.
I feel yoga asanas are fluid. My practice is building and evolving. Every pose can take different forms and significance depending on my physical and mental space. Some days the poses are sloppy and creaky. Some days I feel subtle and enlivening openings. Within an hour, the experience can change. The value of the pose is in how it feels, not how it looks.
Yoga for ninjas is about taking ownership of the practice and its effects– finding expansion in the breath and invigorating energy in the poses. It’s about boldly and delicately assuming challenges and pleasure. It’s about playing and having fun with new ideas and feelings.
Morning yoga on Searle Pass at 12 000 ft on the Colorado Trail.
Yoga on the porch in Fort Collins is a treat. It’s so hot, I practically break a sweat sitting in the shade. Oxygen at 5000 feet proves a little scarce, so I’m trying to get some deep breaths into my chest. My new bike is on the right, my old bike on the left. Starting the day with Sun Salutations and coffee.
Ujjayi breath is the foundation of Forrest Yoga. In this breathwork, I slightly constrict a muscle in my throat- the muscle used when whispering or fogging up a mirror. Controlling the flow of air lengthens the breath. At times, it sounds like the ocean inside of a seashell or Darth Vader. Inhale deeply and slowly through the nose and inflate the rib cage. Exhale completely, sending all of the breath out of the body. At the bottom of the breath, contract the lower belly. Do it again and again. In a quiet place it’s easy to hear Ujjayi breath and creates a rhythm for my practice.
Sun Salutations are movement with breath and a delicious part of your complete breakfast.