What I Learned from Doing a Handstand Every Day for a Year

365 days
365 handstands (one each day)
365 pictures of yourself in handstand

Just over 365 days ago, I started noticing a buzzing on Facebook from several Forrest Yogis taking pictures of themselves in handstands. The Forrest Yoga Handstand 365 (#fyhandstand365) challenge was presented. Your mission if you choose to accept it: Do a handstand every day for a year and take a picture of yourself in the handstand.

This caught my attention for a few reasons. For starters, I tend to be an intensity junkie, and a very stubborn person who doesn’t like the idea of backing down when challenge is thrown down. Plus I liked the idea of committing myself to do yoga every day – even if it is only a single pose.

Now handstand has always been my nemesis. I’ve worked on this pose for years, taking handstand workshops, trying different techniques, and falling endlessly. Despite all my efforts, I still couldn’t balance for more than a few seconds by the wall, much less balancing in the center of the room. It’s been infinitely frustrating to me that even though I can do many advanced yoga poses, I can’t seem to master handstand. Did I really want to voluntarily do this pose – a pose that brings up frustration and self-deprecation – every single day? For a year? And don’t even get me started on the picture part. But I also know what Ana Forrest says : “Never waste a trigger”.

I brought up the challenge to my friend Abbie, who’d also noticed the handstand Facebook action. “I’m kinda thinking of doing it”, I said. “Me too”, she said. “Do we want to do this?”

Later that day, Abbie sent me a picture of herself in handstand. “Day 1”, read the caption. It was on. I posted my first handstand picture that night.

And 364 more of them. One every day.

I didn’t really think the challenge would be much more than practicing handstand, and hopefully balancing by the end of the year. To my surprise, the challenge went way beyond the physical challenge. I learned a tremendous number of life lessons in the process, most of them completely unexpected.

Top 10 Things I Learned from Doing a Handstand Every Day for a Year

10. I am capable of making a commitment and sticking to doing it every day.

I could list all of the things I’ve told myself I should really do every day: yoga; meditating; writing in a journal, and the list goes on of things I’ve vowed to do every day. While I’ve had spurts of consistency with these resolutions, none of them ever became long-lasting habits. The fact that I committed to and did a handstand every single day proved to myself that I am capable of being consistent with a new behavior on a daily basis.

9. How to confront self-consciousness

I hate having my picture taken especially in a yoga pose. I’ve resisted having any yoga pictures taken of me, as many yoga teachers will do. I knew they’d never look anything remotely resembling the beautiful yoga shots I’d seen of others. What I liked about yoga was how much I didn’t think of how I looked while practicing, but rather, how good it made me feel. I worried that having to see my imperfections displayed on camera would ruin that experience.

Well, taking my picture every day wasn’t easy. I was extremely self-critical, insisting that my husband take another picture, or scrutinizing my pose in the mirror first. I compared my pictures to the other people doing the challenge. I cringed at how I looked in many of them.

But you know what? It stopped being as big of a deal. It was just something I did every day and I stopped caring as much. And I actually found that I liked some of the pictures. “Wow, that’s what I look like,” I thought. I even conceded that I did some impressive stuff in many of these pictures – the results of many years of practice.

8. With 365 handstands to do, you can get pretty creative.

The fun part of the challenge was it brought out my creative side. Finding a unique variation or location, or funny pose became a new challenge. I was always on the lookout for new places for my handstand of the day, or brainstorming ideas for the future. I went through themes: putting my legs in the shape of letters, using appropriate song lyrics as picture captions, and different colors. Connecting to my creativity and having a sense of humor in the process also helped get me out of my self-consciousness over having my picture taken.

7. I have more support than I realized.

I thought posting a picture of myself in a handstand every day would result in a lot less Facebook friends. What I didn’t anticipate was how supportive my friends on Facebook would be. Every day I’d get encouraging comments on my photos. Sometimes people would add a funny remark or let me know when they particularly liked a certain picture. It brought me together virtually with a lot of people, including many I don’t get to see that often. I don’t know if I could’ve done it without their encouragement. It was their support that gave touched my heart, gave me a laugh, and motivated me to find something fun to post for the next day.

Best of all was sometimes other people got in on the action! There were many guest stars in the handstand photos, with others also doing handstand or just involved behind the camera or suggesting an idea for the day’s handstand.

6. My challenge was inspiring to others.
In social situations throughout the year, it was common to have someone come up to me and ask me how the handstands were going. I’d forget how many people would actually see these on Facebook. “Wow, it’s really impressive”, several people told me. I’d blush and thank them, but thinking to myself, “I still can’t even balance in the pose. I’m supposed to be a yoga teacher. It’s really not impressive.”

But the kicker was when someone said: “You’re really an inspiration.” Now I really had a hard time letting that one sink in. Of all the things I’d describe myself as, inspirational would not be one of them. So it was a big step for me to take in that the discipline of doing something that was challenging for me every single day was inspiring. It wasn’t the handstands themselves, but the dedication and perseverance behind them. And me, yes, awkward me, was able to be an inspiration.

5. Doing a challenge with a partner keeps you accountable.

I definitely could not have done this challenge without my friend Abbie. We relied on each other for moral – and sometimes physical-support throughout our handstand endeavors. We’d frequently text back and forth: “Wait till you see my picture from today.” “This is really getting old.” “I have an idea for a handstand we can do today.” “Why did we decide to do this again?”

I knew that Abbie wasn’t going to give up before day 365, and that helped keep me on track not to give up either. There was no way I was letting down my handstand partner.

4. Getting over being perfect
The trap of being creative was then feeling like every single day my handstand needed to be interesting and creative. I learned to make peace with myself that not every day had to be an A+, inventive handstand. It was ok to have times where my handstand was just that – a handstand, nothing exciting. I noticed myself being gentler with myself in other aspects of my life. For example, I stopped getting as down on myself when one of my classes didn’t go over as well as I’d hoped. I realized that not every yoga class I taught was going to be the most amazing class. Sometimes the energy of a class is different or I’m not feeling as effective in my teaching, but then there are those classes where everything jives well and it’s a particularly amazing experience. Just like my handstand challenge, my responsibility is to show up, do my best, and always work to improve and enhance my skills.

3. I don’t have to like something to do it every day.
Some days I felt inspired and handstands were fun. Other days it was a big drag. Some days I’d have a great idea of a handstand and it worked out well. Other days it was 10:30pm, and I grudgingly dragged myself to the wall at my house to get the day’s handstand done.

2. The year took me to a lot of interesting places.
My year of handstands ended up being a record book of sorts of my experiences throughout the year, from travel to outings with friends. Locales of my handstands included: a fountain in Poland; an elephant sanctuary in Thailand; on first base at San Francisco Giants’ stadium, and at the bottom of a volcano in Mt. Lassen.

1. Day 365 brought a huge tide of emotions.
Abbie and I decided that Day 365 needed to be epic. We headed out to a scenic vista in Berkeley, California at sunrise, along with our talented photographer friend, Scott Fin, and my husband (himself a wonderful photographer and the man behind the camera for many of my handstand pictures. Out came yoga mats, tiaras, leg warmers, tutus, and champagne. We were giddy with laughter as we posed in the cold, raised a toast, celebrating the culmination of our year of hard work. It was the most amazing high, where I vacillated from tears to absolute elation. Looking over Scott’s pictures brought such joy and gratitude to my heart. We did it – and we did it together!


Top 10 Yoga Books to Check Out

book-loveThere’s a slew of yoga books out there, but there are a few standouts that have been deeply helpful or influential to my yoga practice. This is my list of yoga books that you should read and keep on your bookshelf to thumb through again and again*:
10. Living Your Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater
I’ve written before about this great book, which was my first introduction into the deeper aspects of yoga. It’s a terrific dive into the philosophical principles behind yoga, but written in a way that’s very accessible, tying applicable examples to everyday life.
9. Bhagavad Gita (I’ve linked to the translation I have, but there are numerous translations out there).
I first read this classic text of Indian Spirituality in a college class on religious traditions and then again in my first yoga teacher training. It’s a simple, but beautiful story that is full of parables. It’s a tale you can re-read in its entirety or just a section or two, and continue to get new nuggets of wisdom.
8. Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness,Erich Schiffman
This one is a classic. Erich breaks down all aspects of yoga, from physical sequences to breathing to philosophy to what he considers the main practice: meditation. He has way of describing what can often be abstract concepts in a way that makes sense and gives you detailed practices for how you can begin with meditation and a physical practice of yoga.
7. Anatomy of Yoga, by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews
Beyond just anatomical terms, this book illustrates what muscles are at work in a variety of different yoga poses, so you are able to see how these muscles engage and interact in each pose.
6. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, T. K. V. Desikachar
If you want a good overview of how different styles of yoga emerged in the West, this book explains the teachings of the author’s father and renowned yogi, Krishnamacharya, and how other elements of his teachings came to the West through other major yogis who were students of Krishnamacharya.
5. Yoga as Medicine, Timothy McCall
As an MD, McCall blends his Western medicine background with a holistic approach to health and how yoga can help with healing with a variety of conditions, from back problems to depression.
4. Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual, David Swenson
Not only is this book a fantastic introduction to ashtanga yoga, but it’s a very practical guide for learning many foundational poses in yoga. Each pose in the first and second series of ashtanga yoga is broken down to the components of its sanskrit name and instructions for each pose are illustrated with photos of the full version of each pose, as well as three modified stages of the pose. The book is spiral-bound so you can follow along from your mat as you practice.
3. Yoga for Pain Relief, Kelly McGonigal
Kelly is an amazing yoga teacher, psychologist, and Stanford University instructor. Her book is full of research about the mind/body connection with chronic pain and is full of meditation and movement exercises for relief from any kind of chronic pain.
2. Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, Claire Dederer
This is a compelling memoir of a young mother’s discovery and exploration of yoga through the challenges and issues in her own life. It’s told with a sense of humor, but also a deep respect for the power and support a yoga practice can provide.
1. Fierce Medicine, Ana Forrest
If you read no other yoga book, get this one. An inspiring, compelling story of Ana’s healing journey and her development of Forrest Yoga. It’s not just for reading though; this book is an experiential one, as Ana shares healing poses and guided processes that have helped her heal that you can use as tools in your own life.

*Note: I purposely omitted two big yoga philosophical texts: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Hatha Yoga Pradipka in favor of some books perhaps less widely known and not just philosophical in nature.

Got a favorite yoga book I missed? Add it to the comments!

Top 10 Ways Teaching Yoga is like Social Media

I’ve been having a blast helping Innerstellar Pilates and Yoga studio out with their social media. It’s a wonderful marriage of my two careers and two things I love: yoga and social media. Maybe it’s just my tendency to see parallels to yoga in everything, but I find a ton of commonality between teaching yoga and working in social media.

Top 10 Ways Teaching Yoga is like Social Media

10. You get to touch the lives of others, be it a juicy yoga class or a helpful response to a user on Facebook.

9. Just as your yoga practice changes and evolves over time, social media is always changing. You have to adapt and progress forward.

8. There’s no shortage of workshops on both subjects and so many people to learn from.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7. You get the opportunity to share information and information with others whether it’s through teaching or tweeting or a Facebook update.

6. There’s no “right way” to do social media or yoga. There are guidelines and best practices, but ultimately you have to be the one to discover what works.

5. In both practices, you give, but you can be overwhelmed with how much you get back from others.

4. Opportunities to be creative abound!

3. As you do them more and more, you begin to find your own voice.

2. You must be willing to experiment. If something falls flat, problem-solve, try something else, and change direction as you need to.

1. The best part of all is the personal connection with others.

Social media and yoga. It’s a damn good combination.

Top 10 Songs for Sun Salutations

Sun salutations are a great way to trick yourself into practicing yoga even when you don’t wanna’.

Let’s face it, sometimes you need some music to get you moving and in the mood to practice. This hodgepodge of tunes are my favorites for getting me going and flowing through sun salutes of any variety.

10. Soul Meets Body –Death Cab for Cutie

9. The Way You Move –OutKast

8.  When You’re Falling –Afro Celt Soundsystem

7. Electric Feel –MGMT

6. Family Affair –Mary J. Blige

5. Crazy –Gnarls Barkley

4. Like a G6 –Far East Movement

3. Want to be Startin’ Somethin’ –Michael Jackson

2.  Superstition –Stevie Wonder

1. Walking on Sunshine* –Katrina and the Waves


*Ok, there had to be at least one cheesey song with a corny sun reference

Image credit: A Charmed Yogi

Top 10 Ana-isms from the Wind Horse Conference

Photo credit: Forrest Yoga

10. Forrest Yoga is about feeling

9. If you’re leg is quivering, congratulations! You’re moving energy.

8. Ask yourself, “What can I do in the pose? What part of this pose can I do?”

7. Yes, I said put the block on your crotch. Crotch, crotch, crotch

6. Those of you cranking your neck up to the ceiling, this is a particularly ugly ceiling to look at. Nothing to see here. Relax your neck

5. Don’t try to do it perfectly without a mistake because that would be a mistake

4. Many of us look for other people to do us. Learn to do yourself. You can take that however you like.

3. Some of you are using your neck to get in the pose. Good try, but wrong set of muscles

2. Re-shaping your mind is one of the best kinds of flexibility

1. When you are feeling like you aren’t enough, can you accept that for the mental racket it is? It’s just not true. Let where you are be enough.


You can check out some of my past Top 10 Ana-isms here and here.

Top 10 Titles for the New Berenstain Bears Books

When I was a kid, my siblings and I had quite the collection of Berenstain Bears books. They were these little square paperbacks that fit neatly together on a shelf and featured the Berenstains, a nuclear bear family that lived in a big treehouse. The book themes covered a variety of issues for kids including going to the dentist, moving, and getting along with friends. Kinda preachy in retrospect, but we loved them at the time.

Recently Jan Berenstain, co-author of the Berenstain Bears series along with her late husband, Stan, passed away at 88. Reading the L.A. Times obituary brought back a lot of fond nostalgia of these childhood tales.

However, there was troubling point in the article:
After Stan’s death, Berenstain continued to produce books with son Mike, who will run the family enterprise with his brother. Nineteen new Berenstain books will be published this year.

As my Dad pointed out when I shared the obituary with my family, “Nineteen more books? Really? Are there that many new child-rearing situations to cover and problems to be solve? Maybe we’ll see “The Berenstain Bears Get Carpal Tunnel From Playing Video Games,” “The Berenstain Bears Eat Sustainably Grown Produce,” and “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Laser Eye Specialist.” My brother added, “I can totally picture the cover of “The Trouble With Texting” – Sister Bear is looking at her phone with horror, Papa Bear looking over her shoulder angrily, and in the background, Brother Bear has crashed his car into a tree.”

So I had to throw in my two (ten?) cents:

Top 10 Titles for the New Berenstain Bears Books

10. The Berenstain Bears Encounter the Born Again Bears

9. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Internet

8. The Berenstain Bears and the Same-Sex Couple Next Door

7. The Berenstain Bears and the War on Christmas

6. The Berenstain Bears go to the Independent, Locally-Sourced, Cooperative Restaurant

5. The Berenstain Bears and the Dangers of Sexting

4. The Berenstein Bears Take a Staycation

3. The Berenstain Bears Learn about TSA Regulations

2. The Berenstain Bears Catch Whooping Cough because Other Bears don’t get Vaccinated (And Other Problems with Listening to Jenny McCarthy Bear)

1. The Berenstain Bears Get Outsourced


Top 10 Favorite Yoga Funnies

Take yoga seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. I love yoga humor. It’s crucial for me to keep my practice playful and enjoyable. Here’s my top 10 favorite yoga funnies:

1. Yoga for Chickens

Bringing yoga to the barnyard.



2. Alex Gregory’s New Yorker cartoon

This one’s on my fridge

3. Bush Yoga

A little dated, but a wonderful mock of the former commander in chief.

4. Yoga Action Squad

Namaste, bitches!

5. Honest Names for Yoga Poses

I like the alternative name for savasana.

6. Irish Yoga






With my last name, I appreciate this.

7. Yoga mat for sale

Nearly brand new!

3. Geek meditation

When yoga meets geek from Joy of Tech.

2. Toilet Yoga

Yoga Dork expounds three key yoga “movements” for relief

1. Yoga Dork

Mentioned in the above funny, the Yoga Dork blog strikes that wonderful balance between reporting on serious issues in the yoga community and sharing the funny parts of it. Highly recommended for some great chuckles along with the latest yoga news.

Got any favorite yoga humor I didn’t mention here? Share it in the comments.




Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself on the Yoga Mat

yoga mat

I’ve always maintained that the hardest yoga pose is starting. Forget handstand or splits; the toughest pose in unrolling your mat and starting to practice. After years of doing yoga, I’m amazed that it is still like pulling teeth to get myself to practice at times. I pretty much always feel better after a yoga session, yet I’ll continue to have this resistance. So I’ve just had to discover clever ways of getting myself to the mat in spite of myself. Here’s my top ten tips and tricks I’ve found for getting back on the yoga mat:

1. Let go of time “rules”  I used to think that if I didn’t practice for at least 90 minutes every day that I wasn’t a dedicated enough yogi, doing enough or doing it right. If I didn’t have at least an hour, I just wouldn’t do any yoga at all. But when I take the attitude that any yoga is better than no yoga, practice happens much more frequently. Even a few minutes can make a big difference in your energy level. Maybe it’s just a few rounds of sun salutations or some forward bends.  Giving myself permission to be imperfect and not practicing “x” number of minutes has been a huge way of being more compassionate to myself–and improving at least my mental practice as a result.

2. Find a buddy  Find another yogi to practice with. Having someone who is relying on you to carpool to a class or show up to your house to practice together increases the likelihood that you will get out of bed and decreases the likelihood you will bail. Plus it’s just way more fun sometimes to have another person to be breathing and sweating along with you. If you don’t have a buddy at hand, try meeting other people at yoga class. You can also try the Craigslist activity partners section where you can post your yogi want-ad.

3. Get thee to a class The sangha or community aspect of yoga is a powerful thing. A good yoga instructor has a way of inspiring you to go deeper into your practice and challenge your imagined limitations. By practicing as part of a class, you get reconnected not just to yourself, but to the larger universe around you. And frankly, sometimes I just want be told what to do and be guided through a practice. Also, if you’re a cheapskate like me, once you’ve put down money for a class pass, that will motivate you to get yourself there to get your money’s worth.

4. Turn on a DVD. Or podcast. Or video stream. There’s a ton of free or low-cost yoga podcasts and online videos. A quick iTunes search alone will give you a bunch of options. Netflix is a great way to test-drive yoga DVDs so you can see if you like one before purchasing it. Have a handful of video classes of various lengths so when you’re in need of inspiration or just need a set routine, all it takes is pushing the play button. The bonus? Checking out different video options available gives you a chance to sample different teachers and yoga styles.

5. Mix it up Speaking of different styles, sometimes you need to try a new one. If you’ve been doing the same old routine or video or just aren’t feeling as engaged in your usual class, try something new. Try a different style of yoga, go to a teacher whose class you’ve never taken before or visit a new studio. Sometimes a change of pace is needed to get you re-interested and energized about practicing.

6. Have your gear at the ready I keep a yoga mat in my trunk along with a towel. Lay out your yoga clothes the night before. Place your gym bag out by the door. Don’t let not having a mat or the right clothing on hand keep you from practice. Similarly, if you’re practicing at home, roll your mat out ahead of time and clear aside any space you need ahead of time so when it’s time to practice, all you need to do is step on the mat.

7. Make a music mix Yoga doesn’t have to be done in silence. Yoga music is not limited to Krishna Das or sitar music (though I actually happen to like both of these). I love putting together a playlist of fun music that I reserve for my yoga practice. This gives me something to look forward to the next practice. Putting the music on ahead of time will lift me from lethargy to bopping into my practice. I have been known to move through sun salutes in rhythm, sing along in headstand, and pause between poses to shake it like a polaroid picture. Music has a way of focusing me and bringing back the fun and playfulness part of yoga.

8. Stop being serious Seriously. That playfulness I mentioned was completely foreign to my home practice for the longest time. Stop the vinyasa to sing along to Michael Jackson? Do another handstand for the fun of it? Unheard of. It was rare that I ever deviated from a precisely prescribed sequence of poses with the proper breath count. Discipline is one thing, but rigidity and exactitude are ways to guarantee you won’t feel like unrolling the yoga mat. Give yourself permission to have fun with it. Laugh at yourself when you fall out of a pose. Do a pose completely out of sequence just because it feels good. It has taken me YEARS to start to give myself the permission and flexibility in my practice and I’m certainly still working on it. BUT, it’s the fun, free-flowing classes that are the most rewarding and tend to be where I’ll have a breakthrough in a pose.

9.  Keep a brain dump nearby Sometimes I resist doing yoga because my brain is spinning from all the things on my to-do list and everything I ought to be doing instead of practicing. Have a notepad and pen nearby when you start to practice. If you remember something you have to do or have something you keep thinking about, write it down. Have a great idea while you’re in downward dog? Put it on paper. I find that when I put my persistent thoughts in writing, it gets them out of my head and gives me the brain space to focus onto my practice–and not forget about those creative sparks that sometimes strike while in a yoga pose.

10. Note your epiphanies On that note (pun intended), write down those cool insights you have in practice. Did you nail that arm balance you’ve been working on for years? Discover that you were able to hold a pose way longer than you thought you could? Realize something about yourself or gain some new perspective on a life situation? Record these epiphanies. Then the next time you don’t want to practice or feel discouraged, go read your epiphanies.

How do you motivate yourself to unroll the mat?

Top 10 Costumes from Bay to Breakers

Flickr photo from Kevin Krejci

Sometimes I love San Francisco, even when the forecast is foggy rain in the middle of May. The annual Bay to Breakers is one of those quintessential San Francisco events that I love.
Getting to the starting line, I watched as a group of Japanese tourists looked on with slightly puzzled looks, cautiously smiling as they took a picture of a woman dressed as a bride with thigh-high garters, accompanied by two friends in tacky bridesmaid dresses. A couple of businessmen emerged from the nearby convention center looking bewildered.

This year, San Francisco officials proclaimed that they’d be cracking down on the Bay to Breakers shenanigans. There’d be none of this beer drinking and nakedness and floats were officially banned from the race. As a result, there were no floats to speak of, but there were record numbers of participants dressed as law enforcement officials, particularly SFPD. Walking over to meet up with my friends, I stepped over twelve packs of beer and dodged half a dozen naked people running (never the people you ever want to see unclothed) through a cloud of marijuana smoke to our meeting place.  Ah, the spirit of Bay to Breakers will go on, crackdown be damned!

Top 10 Costumes from 2011 Bay to Breakers

Photo from Melissa Chang

10. Robots
These ladies were just two of the handfuls of elaborate robot costumes I spotted. Expertly crafted…and how can you not like robots?

9. Osama Bin Laden
I was surprised that I actually only saw one such costume as I thought it might be a popular one this year. It also surprised me that there was no Obama costume or perhaps an Obama/Osama hybrid, with one person sporting the beard and robes, the other waving a birth certificate

8. Jellyfish
I loved the family of jellyfish. Mom, dad, and kids all had a what looked like a pastel-colored, balloon-like jelly fish top attached to their head with little streamers running down. So simple, yet clever and original.

7. Frank Chu
No, honestly, it wasn’t the real Frank Chu, only a guy that looked stunningly like him, complete with the sign. My friend first thought it was actually Frank himself until he got a closer look.

6. Zone of Zero Tolerance
Well it certainly was not an illegal float, but rather a running tent touting the law enforcement decry. The SF Zone of Zero Tolerance Tent zipped along with several costumed law enforcement officials pounding drinks underneath.

5.  Celebrities!
It was a tie between a lady Elvis, a stunningly accurate Prince, circa “Purple Rain”, and a crazed looking young man with an, “I’m on a drug called Charlie Sheen. Winning!” sign.

Image from Sylvain Kalachie's photostream

4. Bacon
It takes many running bacon bits to make a striplet. Even vegans have to smile.

3. Traveling Port-a-Pottie
Complete with a sign that read, “Come in if you want to get shit-faced.”

2. Running Grandmas
Armed with walkers, hairnets, and bifocals, grannies with names like “Gertrude” and “Bernice” bustled along.

1. Hey, what a great costume! Oh wait…
After the race you’d still see many race-goers around. However, it was sometimes hard to determine if the person in question was wearing a great costume for Bay to Breakers or was actually just a regular denizen of San Francisco.

More pictures here!


Top 10 Forrest Yoga Funnies

Forrest Yoga is known for a lot of things, but laughter is not usually one of them. One of the joys that I’ve found through getting more into Forrest Yoga is finding the humor and joy of the practice in life. Here’s a sampling of some of the funny Ana-isms from Ana Forrest when she was in town last weekend. Okay, some of the humor is a little sadistic, but it’s amazing how these moments of laughter in class will get you out of that negative or self-pitying frame of mind and remind you that while you can take your yoga practice seriously, you don’t have to be serious all the time!

Top 10 Forrest Yoga Funnies (as heard from Ana)

10. Let’s rest the abs by going into dolphin
9. Get you strap on!
8. Move your shirt up from your belly for agni sara. Those of you shy about the belly, that’s nice, move your shirt up for agni sara
7. Because in Forrest Yoga, there is always abs
6. Don’t be coy with the block, place it on your crotch.
5. Ashtanga people, let me repeat, bend your knees, then lower all the way down in chatarunga
4. Restorative? That’s someone else’s class
3. Move without jerking. Practice taking the jerks out of your practice. Then once you’ve done that, you can work on taking the jerks out of other parts of your life
2. Rest is a relative term
1. We’re about to move into some f-word territory. That’s right, we’re moving out of thinking into feeling.