Most of us have a very sedentary lifestyle, and this can leave us with tight hips and hamstrings. Runners and cyclists often find that these areas are achey too. This class can help bring a bit more freedom into these muscles. Chronic stress can also be linked to tight psoas muscles, which can make the hips and low back ache.

For this class you will need a strap. If you don’t have one then you can use a big towel, a skipping rope, a dressing-gown belt, or anything else long that you have to hand.

Below is the sequence, written out, in case you prefer to practise in silence. It includes some extra poses in brackets which are not on the recording, so if you have a bit more time you can extend your session on the mat to suit you. If you modify the sequence, stick to the basic idea of warming up to your most advanced pose and then warming down again afterwards, to keep your body safe. Never stretch into pain, and honour your edges. Hold each pose for 5-8 breaths each, or each side.

Any poses you don’t recognise you can look up on www.forrestyoga.com in the photo gallery, or you can Google* them (there are some great short videos showing how to do individual poses), or look them up in Ana’s book Fierce Medicine if you have a copy. When searching on the net, always add the word ‘Forrest’ into your search term, as some of the names are common to other forms of yoga, but the poses are done differently.

The sequence includes one pose which is not Forrest Yoga - the optional psoas release during Savasana. I learned this from SpinningBabies.com and you can find instructions for how to do it there.

* Or you could try the eco search engine Ecosia, which plants trees every time you use it!

The Sequence:

  • Sit in Baddhakonasana and breathe into pelvic floor. Inhale bear down a little, exhale draw pelvic floor in towards navel. 5 breaths.
  • Unlocking the Hips, stages 1,2 and 3
  • (Baddhakon Forward Bend)
  • Side Bend and Neck Release in Baddhakon
  • Elbow to Knee x5
  • Lying Down Spinal Twist
  • Frog Lifting Through x5
  • Bridge (optional: with a block under the sacrum, left ankle on right thigh, then switch)
  • Dolphin (optional: repeat Dolphin, perhaps with variation like lifting one leg or one arm - do both sides if so)
  • (Horse with Back Traction)
  • (Sun Salutations - every lunge do back traction, every Down Dog or Turbo Dog stay for five breaths)
  • Standing Pose Series:
  • Warrior I
  • Easy Twisting Warrior
  • Pyramid
  • Warrior II with Shoulder Shrugs
  • Extended Warrior Variation
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Head to Ankle Prep
  • Arrow Lunge
  • Lounge Lunge
  • Lunge Heel to Butt
  • (Knee Pile with Eagle Arms)
  • (Straddle Forward Bend)
  • Baddhakonasana on the Back with a strap
  • Happy Baby
  • Savasana, with optional psoas release (5 minutes)