The fact is, our bodies age, and at some point suffer injury or stop responding exactly the way we’d like them to. When that happens, there are two options: we can fight and resist our physical limitations and annoying “spots,” or we can find a way to work with them.
At the core of this work is unconditional love. If we can learn to love our bodies through aging, injury, and illness, we’ll inadvertently increase our compassion for ourselves—and for others.
When your body doesn’t respond the way you’d like it to, it may be due to physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual issues. Before practicing this sequence, ask yourself: Where do I feel limited in my body?
If you are working with a limitation caused by an injury or chronic, physical pain, have a licensed yoga therapist create a personalized sequence to address your body’s specific needs. Otherwise, depending on your answer to the aforementioned self-inquiry, choose one spot to work with as you practice this Forrest Yoga sequence. Focus your attention there, and get curious—particularly about your attitude. What is your intent for yourself and for the area of your body that you’re focusing on?
In every pose, try to maintain an attitude of curiosity about the spot you’re working with—sending your breath to, or toward, that space in your body. If you ever feel sharp pain (especially in your area of focus), back out of the pose into a modification where you can comfortably breathe without pain. There’s a good chance you’ll be amazed by what happens when you work with this combination of breath and attention.
About Our Pro
Teacher and model Erica Mather is a certified Forrest Yoga instructor and mentor in New York City. Her online program, Adore Your Body, is a system designed to help students overcome body-image challenges. Learn more at ericamather.com.