The human animal has an amazing capacity to reduce the amount of energy we expend by doing a lot of things on auto-pilot. If we had to fully concentrate on how to move our legs with every step, it would take a very long time to get into town and we’d have used up a lot of calories in doing so - not very practical. So, brilliantly, once we’ve learned how to do something we can free up our brain for other things. However, that auto-pilot can also learn how to do things in a way which isn’t helpful - perhaps restricting your breath to the top of your ribcage, perhaps hunching your shoulders or carrying your head forwards, perhaps spelling ‘seperate’ with too many e’s… In poses like these ones which occurr in many Forrest classes, it’s easy to zone out and let your auto-pilot take over, sacrificing the healing opportunites they give you. So, instead, seek to stay fully awake and alert to sensation while you do these poses, finding out what new things you can learn about your body and what it needs. Happy 18th, all!

Do each pose for five to eight breaths (or five to eight breaths on each side, if it’s asymmetrical). Do five to eight rounds of abs.

Never stretch into pain. Take care of your body. If you’re pregnant then skip the abs exercise and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right.

  1. Take three deep breaths, focussing on the sensation of breathing.

  2. Gentle stretch: Side Bend and Neck Release

  3. Abs exercise: Twisted Root

  4. Something zingy: Dolphin

  5. Final relaxation: Lie on your back in a warm place for at least a minute and let tension drain from your body.