Hello and welcome to Holly Horter Yoga! I’m so happy you stopped by. Here’s a bit about me. . .
I’m a yoga teacher and workshop facilitator. I’m mom to a mischief pug named Loki (yes, he often lives up to his namesake’s reputation), who loves to help me guide classes when he’s not feeling gassy. I live at the gorgeous foothills of Pikes Peak. I love farmers markets, chasing art, interesting red wines, Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino movies, dark roast coffee with cream and sugar, Cuban food, French fries, and punk music. Isabel Allende’s novel House of the Spirits touches my soul like no other (Clara del Valle is my fictional sister). I have an irreverent sense of humor and sometimes employ the proverbial sailor-mouth to communicate my passions. I’m also a survivor. For decades I dealt with anxiety, depression, and abuse. But I found an empowered voice through the practice of Forrest Yoga, and saved my own life.
I was first drawn to yoga in 2005 as a way to manage my stress. I learned to breathe and focus. I learned to move my body in ways that felt good. Standing on that 68” x 24” rectangle every day was an escape. I got “good” at yoga. But I cried a lot. In. Every. Damn. Class. That rectangle and I developed a relationship that involved more than Warrior II and headstands. But I was confused – how could yoga be making me worse emotionally? Wasn’t yoga all about feeling good and getting strong? Wasn’t it all about limber bodies and achieving the infamous yoga butt? Shouldn’t I feel more, I don’t know, fluffy and light? Then it dawned on me. Yoga was un-numbing me, unearthing those dormant but noisy demons I’d buried through years of fight and flight. That 68” x 24” rectangle held me. I couldn’t flee. I had no one to fight but myself. That’s when I realized yoga was so much more than doing a backbend on the beach at sunset. It was more than a workout. It was my place to meet myself. If I let it.
Forrest Yoga found me a couple of years into my journey. I was at a yoga festival and went to a Forrest Yoga workshop. I had no idea what I was in for. While yoga was helping with my anxiety and stress and occasionally smacking the demons, I still always felt like an imposter in classes. Everything there always felt very airy and surface level. Ten minutes into the workshop I knew Forrest Yoga was where I was meant to be. It was direct, no bullshit, hard ass work that forced me to acknowledge what I was really holding onto in my body – years of pain and trauma, decades of grief. Forrest Yoga is not for the faint of heart. One cannot hide or just muscle through it. It’s not kettle bells and resistance bands. No. Forrest Yoga delivers a different kind of resistance, one that serves up all of your stuff on a platter for you to chew on, swallow, digest. It serves up recognition, if you let it, and surrender. This workshop was different from any other yoga class I’d ever taken. For the first time in memory, I felt at home in my body. I felt strong, powerful, connected. Alive. So, I had to go further. I had to continue the excavation process that had begun two years prior.
In May 2014, I completed my Forrest Foundation Yoga Teacher Training with founder Ana Forrest. Like that initial workshop, this training proved pivotal in my yoga discovery. I realized I had a responsibility to share my voice, my story. Because suffering is a human experience. I realized I could hold space for others to meet themselves and create an empowered community in the process. And still I wanted to learn more.
In 2016, I completed my Advanced Forrest Yoga Training with Ana. The deeper excavation continued, with more hard realizations along the way. Upon returning from the advanced training, I proceeded to blow up my life in both good and challenging ways. I quit my retail manager job, got a divorce, and forged a new life to include teaching Forrest Yoga full-time. While none of this was easy, my practice fortified me and helped me remember who I am and what I have to offer.
A big part of this excavation process has been the understanding that my purpose and mission is to offer a sacred space for every BODY, regardless of background, ability, race, gender, sexual orientation, size, addictions, age, trauma, etc. We are all sacred beings, and we all deserve a place to feel safe, move, breathe, connect, and safely explore our sharp edges and cozy comfort zones. Here’s truth – this practice is challenging, emotionally, physically, mentally. I am a no-bullshit guide who will push you to your edge and nudge you over it, knowing you can fly. I will support your personal journey and inspire you toward a loving relationship with your body. I will demand that you question all of the messages that have been handed to you about what you supposedly lack, and passionately cheer you on to embrace a new story about what you possess.
You are worthy.
I look forward to digging deep with you. And don’t worry, I have extra shovels.