Fierce At Midlife: A Conversation With Ana Forrest

Ana Forrest is a yoga teacher for the modern world. She’s developed a form of the ancient art that weaves types we’re familiar with such as Ashtanga or Iyengar but there’s a difference. She infuses them with ancient medicine practices to address the very real and often confronting aspects of our everyday lives

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In her book Fierce Medicine, Ana chronicles the path that got her to this place and even if you aren’t into yoga, you might find something that you relate to in her story. She survived a sexually and emotionally abusive childhood that in her words “left her numb on 50 levels”. The bullet points of that numbness include that she was an alcoholic, a bulimic and survived a suicide attempt, to name just a few of the ways she tried to quash her trauma. Despite the darkness, Ana embarked on a journey of personal healing which sprung from working with horses, through discovering yoga and a gravitation towards indigenous medicine – all of which came together to form Forrest Yoga, a worldwide yoga movement. Forrest Yoga flies in the face of the “new-agey” peace and “nirvana-ish” overtones that many of us associate with yoga and instead goes straight for the jugular, stalking the stuff we’re often afraid of.  Forrest Yoga uses the concept of fear as a tool for growth. This is Ana to a tee.

Ana is also in her late 50s and it’s no surprise that the concept of stalking what’s confronting for some, such as ageing, is exactly the stuff Ana lives for. This interview is going to give you a fresh take on essential issues that we always talk about in my podcasts and vlogs, whether it’s how to deal with menopause symptoms to the possibilities of falling in love at midlife. In fact, even though we reference yoga a little bit, we really don’t talk much about it at all.

But, if you need a visual of Ana Forrest in her yoga element, this clip should do the trick:

 

I met Ana at a turning point in her life. In the past year, she’s fallen in love with an Aussie. Jose Calarco is the company director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance group Descendence and together, they’re bringing their mutual love and experience for indigenous healing to a new incarnation of Forrest Yoga. They were literaly collaborating and creating when we met and the energy between them from being in love as well as the possibilities of taking their work to a new level was infectious. It was really fun to be in their vortex and a reminder that new chapters of creation are always there, for all of us.

Ana Forrest and Jose Calarco

Ana Forrest and Jose Calarco

The podcast is a little chopped up because some of our chat is going to be used for an article that I’m writing for an upcoming issue of Australian Yoga Life Magazine. We did the interview sitting on the floor of a practitioner room at the Body Mind Life – a yoga and pilates studio here in Sydney. Jose was with us at the start and the end of the interview and if you read and listen to this in real time, you’ll be able to experience them together in early 2015 at the beginning stages of their collaboration in Australia for workshops in Sydney and Melbourne . They then head to Wanderlust in New Zealand.

Ana Forrest

Sue and Ana Forrest

 

Mentioned In This Episode: 

Forrest Yoga

Descendance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Theatre

Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest

Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert

Descendance song “Movement” used at the end of the podcast

Ana Forrest Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne

Wanderlust 2015 in New Zealand 

Body Mind Life – Yoga and Pilates

Australian Yoga Life Magazine

My books: Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife and How To Find Your Purpose After 40: The Secret To Unlocking Your Unique Gift To The World

2 thoughts on “Fierce At Midlife: A Conversation With Ana Forrest

  1. wow that woman is amazing. I wish I could stretch my body like that. If I attempt to, I will fall flat on my face Lol. Thanks for sharing my sister love you mama Rosa a. K. A. Hairnailsbeautytips

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