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Choosing Healing is the Ultimate Warrior Action


ORIGIN COLUMNIST Ana Forrest


This is a process. It takes time. Every time we disarm a trigger by activating our feet, regulating our breathing, relaxing our neck, and connecting to our core, the power of the trigger weakens.


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evastating injuries can happen in an instant. Choosing healing continues for a lifetime. In November, I will be traveling to Tampa, Florida, to do a benefit class for the Exalted Warrior Foundation (www.exaltedwarrior.com),


a nonprofit organization expressly created to bring yoga to the wounded while they are still in the hospital, as early on in their healing as possible. The Exalted Warrior Foundation provides adaptive yoga instruction to wounded warriors from across the wound spectrum, both seen and unseen injuries, in military and veterans’ hospital facilities nationwide. These warriors are brave, strong, and work incredibly hard for their own healing. A limb or a piece of skull may be missing, but the warrior’s heart and Spirit are alive and aching to connect.


While in Tampa, I am excited to have the great privilege of meeting and working with some of the wounded warriors at Haley VA hospital. These men and women have severe injuries, including amputations, spinal-cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Forrest Yoga does not require strength or flexibility; it only requires a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly. I developed Forrest Yoga while working through my own injuries from years of physical and sexual abuse and injuries I incurred while training horses for years.


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I teach students to use Forrest Yoga to find and cleanse the emotional and mental blocks that dictate and limit their lives and to choose freedom instead.


For example, PTSD sufferers experience extreme stress reactions. One aspect of this behavior is when a car backfires and the person hits the ground as though they are under attack. I teach them how to retrain their extreme reaction so that they can befriend and regulate their response into being alert, thus repatterning away from their trauma and into their present reality. Breathing and active feet are key.


The first Forrest Yoga basic move I teach is active feet. This is especially important for people with PTSD because when in fear, or when triggered, they lose touch with being grounded and lose a sense of their strength. They get thrown off balance, literally. Knowing how to activate their feet helps them to reground and reconnect to the strength of their legs and to the present situation.


Another major principal of Forrest Yoga is deep breathing. As soon as the triggered person registers that they are triggered — that they


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