Forest is many things in life. He is a dog dad and committed animal rescuer. A great friend and brother.
From the desert and back to the world Forest has come so far.
Worried he would never fully recover from those injuries sustained while defending our nation Forest found that Yoga not only helped him physically but spiritually and mentally as well. Mentally and emotionally Yoga has changed and saved him. He is so much fitter than he was after the surgeries. Although the Veterans Administration (VA) health system did what they could for Forest, at the time they did not offer the resources that many non profit organizations offer.
Forest took his first yoga class at Veterans Alternative while recovering from major ankle surgery. He and his family both could see that the treatments he was being offered by the VA were not working for him. His very first yoga teacher used compassion and kindness to introduced him to the very practice that saved his life outside of the VA system.
At Veteran’s Alternative Forest found many different ways to heal. Yoga and iRest meditation were the ones that stood out for him.
Struggling to learn the hard way that we must leave ego off the mat almost caused Forest to walk away from yoga. Injuries sustained while serving in the US Army has taken a toll on his body to say the least. The compassion and kindness showed to him lead Forest to practice yoga one to two days a week, which resulted in being released six weeks early from the surgeon. Soon after being released from the surgeon Forest started suffering knee pain to the point of barely being able to walk. He persevered and continued to practice gentle yoga and Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra Meditation.
Forest continued his gentle yoga practice and asserted that due to his disabilities he would only ever be able to practice gentle yoga, which Forest admits he used as an excuse initially to not attend yoga teacher training.
He soon went from two days a week to four to five days a week and even ventured into a hatha yoga class and immediately felt as though he was taking his first yoga class again. Little did he know that the seed planted in the past was now starting to germinate.
Not long after attending his first Hatha yoga class, Forest was approached to attend a weekend MYSORE teacher training practice. Basically he volunteered to let students in yoga teacher training practice teaching and doing adjustments on him in a self-guided Ahstanga Half Primary series class.
The seed planted by early compassion and patriotism had evolved and presented new challenges and a new life pathway for Forest.
Forest figured since yoga was a big part of his life he might as well help others who will be spreading the practice that saved his life. Forest worked with his teacher to adjust his practice to accommodate his injuries while still providing maximum benefit from the posture(s).
The story is told he did five Sun Salutation A’s, two Sun Salutation B’s both without Chatarunga (reverse pushup) and two postures after that and called it quits for that practice. Based upon that experience most people would have shied away…not Forest. He already knew what yoga had done for him to that point and figured it cannot hurt to at least try this Ashtanga.
The teacher trainer agreed to allow him to practice in her MYSORE program free of charge. She researched and developed a modified Ashtanga yoga series practice for him which fostered his slow and deliberate motto. He was never too eager to move to the next posture. One could say this is the point when the tree started to grow and branch out like a butterfly opening his wings for the first time.
Forest has found through Ashtanga Yoga and the teachings from his first Mysore teacher, he is able to deal with not only his physical ailments but his unseen mental and emotional ailments as well. This revelation as well as his teacher’s generosity of working with him to pay off teacher training, he attended and passed the Catvari Yoga School Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training (7/1/18).
During his teacher training he was asked to teach as many folks as possible. Forest then started teaching wherever he could. He was offered and accepted a position teaching two weekly classes at a local yoga studio as well as the primary substitute teacher at Veterans Alternative one month prior to completing teacher training.
Forest is a big advocate for alternative therapies especially within the veteran population. Slow and deliberate is something he tries to instill in all classes he teaches. Yoga is a slow medicine and it’s a medicine that the individual has to put the work in. The results will not happen overnight, however “practice and all is coming”.
Forest also believes in bringing yoga to YOU. What this means is he is willing to study any form of yoga to be able to bring to the student what they want, eventually leading the student to bliss. With that being said Forest is an adaptive Yoga Teacher. Through dealing with his injuries and disadvantages he has sustained, he has learned to adapt every yoga practice he attends and is very grateful and honored to be able to share Yoga with his students in anyway that works for them!
Meditation is what Forest knows to bring him to bliss. Forest designs all posture classes to bring you closer to bliss or the true you. He attended and completed iREST Level 1 Teacher Training on 5/23/19. Providing more healing opportunities for his students.
Forest’s mission is plain and simple…Changing Lives Through Teaching Yoga. He does not believe he changes anyone, however he does work hard at providing an environment that is comfortable enough that the student feels save enough to be able to explore all of life. The art of teaching yoga encompasses a large spectrum of paths. Although Forest’s personal practice is Ashtanga, he has extensive experience teaching adaptive and trauma informed yoga and will not shy away from teaching your chosen path.