Today’s Yoga Challenge took me to Kristi Johnson’s Forrest Yoga class at Indaba. I have to admit, having done a few Forrest Yoga classes before, the method hadn’t quite resonated with me in the past. However, knowing that Kristi is a highly respected teacher and also a kind and adorable woman, I wondered how I would find it after so many months and so many physical changes to my body.
The class commenced with 15-20 minutes of abdominal work, generally something I greatly appreciate as I’ve never exactly had a six-pack. While I operated on about 50% effort due to doctor’s warnings about over exertion during the first six months post surgery, I can tell you that this was no sequence for sissies. There were a number of thankful sighs as this portion of the class complete. Next it was on to pranayama and seated postures, nauli (stomach churning) and sun salutations, Forrest style. From there we did some standing strengthening postures combined with more traditional asana, inversion work at the wall, and a funky unravelling pigeon twist.
Kristi is clearly a seasoned teacher who offers a challenging physical practice without spiritual subtext. She gives extremely clear instruction and demonstration, so there is no way to get out of feeling the burn. I have no doubt that were one to attend this class several times a week for a few months one would become buff, and the particular method of yoga, as with any other style, would become more familiar and more easeful. While I’m a fan of Kristi, I can’t say that I’ve been converted to a Forrest Yoga Fanatic, but then, the ‘challenge’ of my Yoga Challenge is, in part, to experience different styles and teachers of yoga, and what resonates for one person may not for another; it is highly subjective without being rational or even relevant.
I do know that if you see me a year from now with super chiseled abs and a lifted uddiyana bandha to die for, chances are I’ve become a regular at Kristi’s class.