Chicago : Rush Street

Gwen Mihaljevich

I stepped into a studio for the first time to support a friend beginning a physical regimen, while silently insisting that yoga was a soft sport that couldn't possibly have many benefits. After my first class, I quickly withdrew my statement and continued attending, enamored by way that it left me feeling.

With a B.S. in Music Therapy and after years of running, softball, weight-lifting, karate, climbing, and mountain biking, discovering yoga was the next, most natural step in bridging the gap between my fascination with Eastern religions/philosophy/medicine, Western psychology, and the body as an expressive medium; finally, I found a tool that helped me connect senses with experiences and breath with mind-body.

Ana Forrest taught me to harness and refine my strength and intensity to direct it in a healing capacity--an ever-maturing process that helps me develop a deepening, sophisticated sense of honesty about myself. Working with her has afforded me the opportunity to question and actualize the level of authenticity I am capable of bringing forth in every situation.

I teach Forrest yoga because it has sparked an ongoing dialogue with my Spirit. It contains the language of empowerment that has helped me work with issues of addiction, abuse, and violence both in my life and my students'. I teach Forrest yoga because of its grounded approach of working within the body to strengthen ones commitment to their life purpose.

Though we are individually coming into relationship with our personal limits, fears, and injuries on our mats, we are collectively joined doing the work of Spirit, of evolution, in the class. I maintain that that collective space is a Sacred one and therefore, as a teacher, my goals are to create a space to explore yourself in physical and emotional safety and to challenge you to overcome your personal barriers that keep you dulled or numb as you discover a more energetic being, a freer self, and a more joyful connection to life.

May you touch fire everyday.