Assisting Ana Forrest at the Yoga Journal NY Conference: Early mornings and big openings
When asked to write about my experience assisting Ana Forrest at the NYC Yoga Journal conference, my mind went blank. How could I possibly put my experience into words? I was elated about working so closely with my teacher right here in my hometown.
At conferences students and teachers often experience styles of yoga that they have never tried or even heard of. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on people in their poses to help them feel things in a whole new way.
As an assistant, our days began with a 5:30 AM practice with Ana, which got us all focused, centered and breathing. A much needed practice considering I was waking up at 4AM to get there from Brooklyn! My intent in each session was breathing right into my heart and running that energy into my hands. Something that is crucial when giving hands-on adjustments.
It didn’t take long before Forrest Yoga starting working it’s magic for the students. The comments after class were profound. “Breathing into my low back…I have never done that before! The emotion there was intense and I feel like I got rid of something during the class.” “I really got inside my shoulders. There is something to this and I want to explore it more!”
There was a moment in Ana’s “Struggle Free Yoga” session when the entire room was deep in feeling. For the first time ever, as a teacher, I felt the emotion come up into my throat and out through my eyes and I welled up into tears. This was a profound and beautiful experience. (to read another student’s thoughts on this exact moment, check out http://blogs.yogajournal.com/ny09/2009/05/struggle-free-struggles-with-ana-forrest.html)
I am extremely grateful to have been a part of the entire weekend. It was an honor to assist Ana in her mission of helping to mend the hoop of the people.
Denise Hopkins, Sangha Forrest Yoga Teacher