Orlando Hurricane Guide: All you Need to Know and where to go

Complete Guide to Prepare for Hurricane Dorian, all while maintaining calm, saving money and keep it eco-friendly.







Preparing for a hurricane can be a stressful and crazy time for even the most peaceful Yogi Bear.  Trying to figure out what to get, how much of it, where to get, and more.   We’ve put together some local Orlando resources and helpful tips to get ready for the storm and still keeping your zen. Get answers on:

  • Where do I get plywood?
  • Stores are out of water.  What do I Do!?
  • How do I prepare in case of power loss?
  • How do I not drop kick someone?
  • How can I make the best of this?

Updates on Hurricane LocationNational Hurricane Center  click here

City of Orlando: Status Updates and Locations (Garages, Shelters, Sand Bag Distribution Centers):  Click Here find out which city services closed, parking garage locations (leave your car safe), shelters,  updates from City,  Emergency radio station info, news updates and more.

Click here to get detailed help on putting together a hurricane plan including shelter, documents, alterts, etc.


Tip#1 Breathe.

Take a moment to collect your thoughts. Just 1 minute,  focus just on your breathe, nothing else.  Ok now let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!  Repeat step 1 often.  1 Minute of focused breath can make the difference between allowing the stress to overflow and keeping things in check.


Tip#2 Dealing with Water supply

While finding bottled water may seem impossible, there’s still hope.

  1. Upcycle your current containers.  All those Mason Jars, empty juice containers, DIY projects for “One day”.   Gather those up and fill them with water.
  2. Where & How to Fill up  on water:
    1. Local Breweries:   We’ve found a few local breweries with filtration systems that are offerings to fill up your containers with filtered water, FREE.
      1.   Ten10 
      2. Thirsty Topher
    2. Filling Stations:  You can visit your local supermarket.  Lucky’s and Publix offer water filling.   Take your containers and get ready to filler up.  You can also find a Glacier fill station.
    3. Filter System:  Brita filter jugs and refills tend to hang around longer than bottle water during a crisis.   Check your local stores or order online:









3.  Freeze Water & Help Preserve Food!  Fill zip lock bags with water and put them in the freezer NOW.  If you lose power, move the bags to the fridge.  You will not only have cold water to drink but they will help keep the food in your fridge colder for longer.

Consider cooking any food you have in fridge and freezer now.   It will give you wholesome meals to eat and help possibly save a lot of your food from going in the trash in the event of power loss.


Tip#3 Boarding up windows & Preventing Home Flooding.  Where do I find plywood & sandbags?

We can teach you how to find a bit of peace but won’t tackle how to board windows. Click here for some how-to on boarding up windows.

We have complied a list of local businesses who have plywood in stock.  As of Tuesday 9/5/2017 12pm, these are verified to have plywood in stock.

Local Plywood Sources

Locations for Sandbags.  



Tip#4 Be neighborly.  Help one another.  






We live in a wonderful community with so many people willing to lend a helping hand.  The more we come together, the more we can accomplish.

  1. There are community forums online such as Nextdoor.com , Facebook Groups (search Groups with keyword specific to your neighborhood)….use these platforms to help coordinate efforts with your local neighbors.
    1. Task such as getting food and supplies can be divided among a small group.
    2. Trade:   are you handy?  Offer to stay and board windows for a neighbor in exchange for them picking up supplies on their supply run.
  2. Speak to your neighbors.   Find ways to help each other.
  3. Do you have an neighbors who will be alone/are elderly/or have special needs?   If you have the space in your home and heart, be of service by assuring them they can come to your home if needed.
  4. Be compassionate and kind.   Remember everyone is a little extra stressed, take a breathe and put yourself in the shoes of your neighbors, the person in front of you in line, etc.   Be kind, even when it seems impossible.


Tip#5  Cooking without power.  How TO

  1. Use your grill.   Make sure to get propane.   Uhaul, Tractor Supply, Ace Supply and many other places are go to for propane.  Be aware, propane refills may one of those unicorn finds.
  2. Make a alcohol burning stove from things you have in garage.
  3. Invest in a Solo Stove/similar camping stove.  Or try the DIY Version using tin cans 
  4. Try one of the Survival/Campers guide to cooking without power/propane/gas 



Tip#6  Food.  How to prepare for wholesome nutritious meals


It’s easy to grab every bag of chips and box of cookies in the heat of the moment.  If that’s what keeps your boat floating, then rock on.  But if you want some tips on how to keep it healthy even in times of challenge keep reading. 🙂




  1. For my DIYer’s it’s a great time to do some DIY Canning.  This opens up a world of possibilities to what you can store and have on hand for emergencies.
  2. Limited Resource Cooking staples:  Rice, Quiona, and Oats.  Mix with beans, canned veggies.
  3. Flavor staples:  Apple cider vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, honey, maple syrup.   A sprinkle of these items can make the most bland meal sparkle.
  4. Dried veggies & fruit store bought.  If you have a dehydrator, start making your own stock by picking up fresh produce to dehydrate.
  5. Canned food:  canned beans, canned veggies, coconut milk (amazing on oats with a dash of honey or coffee), canned fruit (look for no syrup/sugar added if possible).
  6. Peanut butter.  The fresh pressed from Luckys almond or peanut butter is so delicious (with no added oils), inexpensive, and has a great shelf life.
  7. Fruit:  Apples tend to have a decent shelf life, lasting up to 2 weeks.   They are delicious plain or sprinkle some cinnamon and or honey.   Or spread peanut butter on top for a magical experience.  Bananas will last 3-6 days and are easy to eat.
  8. Nuts have a long shelf life and are packed full of nutrients.
  9. Granola bars and granola:  aim for simple whole-food ingredients.
  10. Boxed nut milks.   Add granola, or drink plain.
  11. Boxed soups, veggie broths.   Eat alone or add any veggies that you may have.
  12. Potatoes last a LONG time.  They tend to take a bit of effort to cook so if grill is an option, chop ’em up and grill for delicious potatoes/fries.  Drizzle with oil olive and salt.
  13. Coffee/teas:   pre-brew coffee and tea to have on hand.


Tip#7  Meditate:  Yeap seriously, Just do it.








  • A simple mantra (phrase repeated out-loud or silently) such as “I am calm.  I am safe” repeated for 1 minute, 5 minutes or more as you inhale and exhale fully.
  • Try a guided meditation.  Begin with 1 minute, then 5 minutes, then 30 minutes, etc.   Rinse and repeat.
  • Call us 407-375-8489 to organize a guided meditation session for yourself and others in the community.


Tip#8 Give back.  Donate

Once the storm has passed, you may find you have an abundance.   Consider donating your plywood to local charities which help build homes for people in need:

Food & Water Supplies can be donated to:








Tip#9  Stay focused and present.

This can be an easy time to allow ourselves to go into panic mode.   Stay focus and present.  Maintaining calm during preparations can make a world of difference.  It will allow you to plan thoughtfully and be sure you are prepared.

Be sure to take breaks from social media and the news.    These outlets are wonderful and can keep you up to date but can begin to feel overwhelming if we spend too  much on them.  Take it seriously but do take with a small grain of salt.

In my 20 years of living in Florida, I have weathered the storms.  During Charley, I was in a panic after hearing weather personality stating “This is the biggest storm we will ever see…that’s if we don’t all DIE”.   I immediately crawled into the  small bathtub with my 2 big German Shepard’s and dragged the mattress into our tiny bathroom (another tip from same weather dude).   Meanwhile, my mothers partner laughed and frolicked outside (DO NOT attempt this).  He didn’t get hurt but this was luck.   We were two people in the same place, having two very different experiences.   I learned something the next day from his silly actions…..I learned balance, panic mode doesn’t help and of course neither does careless action.   Find a happy middle, have board games, puzzles, books, etc ready  to keep you occupied while waiting for the storm to pass.  How we choose to bare the storm we do have choice over.  Another lesson I leaned is no matter what happens we can laugh or cry through a storm.  I have chosen to smile and find calm ever since that storm.

Orlando is a strong community.    It is important to have a solid plan and be prepared, but not allow panic to take over.   You got this.  Breathe.


Tip#10  Breathe.  Prepare.  Be Kind

You already said all that.  I know.  It is worth repeating.











Our doors are open.  During this uncertain time, we welcome you to take a class and if you’re in need, just come and pay what you can.  Everyone deserves a moment of peace.

Our class schedule:  EmpowerYogaLove.com/classes   

Complete online waiver ahead of time, if you can:  EmpowerYogaLove.com/waiver

This offer is intended those that have a financial need.   We know everyone has plenty to worry about so we will be waiving our financial sponsorship application during storm season.  Just mention”Weather the Storm” at check in and state the amount (if any) you’d like to pay.


Be Well. Be safe.


Please don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and to Like our Facebook Page

Journey to Intimacy workshops in February for more happiness, health, and fun.

 Join us for this series targeted to make your relationships…Happier.  Healthier.  More fun.
This Valentine’s season give yourself and partner the gift of true intimacy.   Help build a stronger bond, learn tools to care for one another such as massage and partner stretches, improve verbal and non-verbal communication, and have fun together!   Check out the schedule below for more details on dates and classes.
Meet the creators of the series:
Sondra Thompson is the founder of Empower Yoga & Massage. She is a yoga and massage therapist that has a passion for helping people lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Dan Warner, is co-owner of Summit Chiropractic.   Dr. Dan incorporates trigger point massage techniques into his practice and is determined to keep people living to their fullest by keeping them pain free and enjoying the lives they love.
Together they have carefully handcrafted a series of classes to help partners come together to form a deeper bond, understand each other better, and play better together.
Mix & Match or Take All 4 classes
Part 1 Peace and Bliss
(A) Map to True Intimacy

  • Time: 1-2:30pm
  • Partner focused candlelight meditation, shared intention setting, purposeful gazing, gentle yoga and trust building exercises.

Rest & Refuel

  • Time: 2:30-3:15pm
  • Bring a dish to share and mingle. Want quiet time? Sneak off to the grassy area for a picnic.

(B) Massage Techniques: Learn Healing Touch

  • Time: 3:30-5:30pm
  • Learn from the pros! Yoga & massage therapist, Sondra, and Chiropractor, Dr. Dan, will give you the tools to give an effective massage without injuring or wearing yourself out. Instead you’ll both feel amazing!
Part 2 Fun and Stretch
(C) Partner Stretching

  • Time: 1:00-2:30pm
  • This light hearted class will teach you more than just partner stretches. It will shed light on communicating more effectively verbally and physically. It will give you tools to help support each other in a happier and healthy lifestyle.

Rest & Refuel

  • Time: 2:30-3:15pm
  • Bring a dish to share and mingle. Want quiet time? Sneak off to the grassy area for a picnic.
(D) Thai Yoga Massage: Learn Nurturing Touch
  • Time: 3:30-5:30pm
  • Learn the blissful art of giving and receiving this ancient art that combines light stretching, deep breathing, and touch.
Early Bird by 1/27/2019:  1 Class $40, All 4 classes $125
After, 1 Class $45, All 4 classes $150
***Prices are per couple***When registering, just register one person.  The price and reservation will automatically save you 2 spots.
4 Pack Deal: (direct buy link)
Single Class Deal: (direct buy link)
cupping orlando

Cupping, everything you need to know

Book your session today.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient form of healing medicine, in which suction is applied by use of special cups. They are placed along targeted areas of the body during treatment.   The results of cupping can be physical or emotional release of pain and general well-being.

Who Should Try Cupping?

There are a variety of reasons to try cupping ranging from reduction in pain, sports therapy, breaking up scar tissue, improving circulation, helping to reduce anxiety, reduction of visual effects of cellulite, and giving skin a vibrant glow.

Injury, overuse, and scar tissue are a few possible reasons muscles and other soft tissues get “stuck”.  These adhesions prevent optimal functioning, often creating lasting pain.   Cupping can help aid to “release” the restricted muscles, tendons, and fascial layers, increase circulation, and allow more nutrients in blood to be supplied to the affected area.  Cupping can help your body heal, and pain to be reduced or even eliminated.


What Can You Expect from Cupping?

You can think of it as an “opposite massage”.  In regular massage, pressure is typically applied downward.   In cupping, the soft tissues (muscle, fascia, skin) are lifted upward.

Cups are either gently moved for a “cupping massage” or left in one place for  5-10 minutes, depending on the desired results.

Cupping should not hurt.  Pain during treatment typically is an indicator that cups have been placed too tightly. If this happens, tell your therapist to lessen the pressure or release a little of the vacuum in the cup.

Clients describe a varying range of pleasant sensations during treatment such as a “flush” in the treatment area, warmth, slight pulling, and feelings of release.

Slight warning: You may look like you were hugging an octopus after your treatment as you see in the picture.   Bruising is normal, especially with dry cupping when cups are left stationary (vs. being consistently moved).


Some people experience a temporary itching sensation which is a good thing!  This is a sign of increased blood circulation, bringing much needed nutrients and removing metabolic toxins.


What are the Types of Cupping?

There are different cupping methods such as dry cupping, moving massage cupping, and wet cupping.  Dry cupping uses cups and creates suction when placed on the skins: pulling skin away from other connective tissue to allow space for restrictions in the tissues to begin to heal.   Moving massage cupping glides suctioned cups with oil along the area to be treated  and  can be used to compliment a relaxing gentle massage or as part of treatment during deep tissue, medical massage, or sports therapy massage, depending on the desired outcome.  Wet cupping involves the therapist slicing the superficial layer of skin with a surgical blade, then placing suction cups to drain small amounts of blood; don’t worry: Empower Yoga doesn’t employ this method……blood makes us queezy.

What Can You Do to Assist the Cupping Treatment?


Cupping is a wonderful tool to help aid in your healing process.   For optimal results having a well regimented routine is best.   Incorporating exercise, stretching, and proper nutrition into your lifestyle will hugely improve your results.


Talk your therapist today about a treatment plan that is right for your needs and budget.  Optimal well-being is much more affordable than you might think!

And in case you need more help than a cupping treatment provides:  We work with some wonderful locally based natural medical professionals and are always happy to give you a reference when needed.

Start your process to healing today.



Spirit of Holidays Nomination

Help us spread holiday cheer. 10 deserving people will get 1 month free Unlimited yoga. 💓⛄🎄🎁🎁🎁 We will also be giving away 30 minute free massage to 5 people.🎄🎊🎁

🙌🎅🎅🎅Nominate the person/people you know that makes our community a better place. Tag them or email us YogaEmpower@gmail.com with telling us what they do to embody the spirit of Kindness/Giving/Love.

Enter by 12/25/2018

*Fine Print: clients who have not attended classes within the last 3 month only. Members/Active clients qualify for massage only. Winners will be chosen by 12/31/2018 and must activate prize by 3/31/2019.

Upward Facing Dog

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) allows the body to strengthen and stretch simultaneously. Giving fluidity to movement this beautiful pose is known to yogis and non-yogis alike. It is the final pose that comprises the “vinyasa” that in flow yoga is the staple of its name.

This pose is accessible to all with modification which does not dilute its qualities. The hallmark of Upward Facing Dog is the grounding of the pose which is carried only by the feet and hands. The support however is all core.

Students can find a solace and relaxing component in performing a vinyasa as each and every major muscle group is required through the sequence finally ending in this heart opening revelation to take respite in one’s downward facing dog.

Body Parts Effected: Back, Spine, wrists, forearms, shoulders
Preparatory poses: Cobra pose, Swan Pose, Camel Pose, Standing Backbend
Pose type: Strengthening Backbend
Also known as: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Urdhva = upward, Mukha = facing, Svana = Dog, Asana = Pose)

1. From Plank Pose, make sure that your hands are at shoulders distance. The inner elbow rotating away.
2. Moving from high to low pushup, either roll over the toes from low pushup, or pick up one foot and place the top on the mat and repeat with the other foot. This positions the body correctly into the pose.
3. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat; do not tuck your toes, as this can crunch your spine.
4. The tops of the shoulders roll down, and the chest moves forward through your straight arms. Pull in the lower belly, this will release the low back.
5. Press down firmly through the tops of your feet and hands evenly. Strongly engage your leg muscles to keep your thighs lifted off the floor do not clench your buttocks.
6. Keep your elbows pressed alongside your body. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and lift your chest toward the ceiling.
7. Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward, but do not crunch your neck. If your neck is flexible, tilt your head to gaze toward the sky. Otherwise, keep your head neutral and your gaze directly forward.
8. Your thighs should be firm and turned slightly inward. Your arms should also be firm, slightly turned so that each elbow crease faces forward.
9. Actively press your shoulder blades into your upper back. Keep your elbows hugged in to your sides. Broaden across your collarbones and lift your heart. Glide the tops of your shoulders away from your ears.
10. Distribute the length of the backbend evenly through your entire spine.
11. To exit lower all the way to the mat and return to child’s pose or downward facing dog.

1. Upward-Facing Dog provides a deep stretch to the entire spine and front torso, flexibility is built slowly and without force on the body. Dropping completely to the ground and taking cobra pose is an excellent modification.
2. It is not necessary to ‘roll over’ your toes to achieve this pose, simply picking up the foot and replacing on the ground with the top of the foot on the mat or a blanket for padding is an excellent modification.
3. If it is difficult to keep your legs lifted above your mat, roll a firm blanket and place it below your top thighs (or have a friend or teacher place the blanket there while you are in Plank Pose). When you move into Upward-Facing Dog, rest your thighs lightly on the roll.

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. Women who are pregnant should avoid this poise after the first trimester. This is due to the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, this pose may overstrain the ligaments in the lower back.
c. If you have wrist injuries or carpel tunnel syndrome drop into cobra pose.
d. If you have any neck injuries, always look forward and slightly tuck the chin to stabilize the neck.

Four Limbed Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) allows us to link poses through fluidity. It is one of the great strength poses of yoga and when combined with downward facing dog and plank pose help us move through standing and seated sequences with ease; commonly known as vinyasa (moving with breath).

It is one of the most misunderstood poses and mis-performed poses of yoga. When mastered, and I say this lightly this pose gives us confidence, grounding, strength and power to move in the direction we seek as yogis both on and off the matt

Body Parts Effected: wrists, bicep and tricep, shoulders, core legs and back
Preparatory poses: Plank Pose, Downward Facing dog, knees-chest-chin, side plank
Pose type: Strength
Also known as: Chaturanga Dandaasana (Chatur=Four, Anga=limb, Danda= Staff, Asana = Pose)

1. Begin in Plank Pose. Rock back and forth slightly to understand your balance and you’re foot position, adjust as needed so that when you rock forward your shoulders align right over your wrists.
2. Slowly bend the elbows keeping the arms grazing the body. The elbows should come to a 90 degree angle with the wrists which will be directly below them.
3. Pull in the lower belly and keep your back flat. You will feel you are well above the floor.
4. Lift through your chest, keeping your shoulders in line with your elbows. Do not let your chest drop or sag toward the floor. You will feel some “up dog” in the chest as you look forward ahead of your fingertips, keep the neck in alignment with the spine.
5. Firm the tops of your thighs (quadriceps)
6. If the full pose is too challenging right now, come to your knees first. Then, lower your torso to keeping the back straight, remember there is a straight line from shoulder to elbow and all of this is in line with the body, Shoulders never “wing up” with the body sitting below. This is Half Chaturanga.
7. Do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Keep them hugged along your ribcage, pointed toward your heels.
8. Press the base of your knuckles into the floor. Your upper and lower arms should be perpendicular, bent 90 degrees at the elbows.
9. You can either gently roll into upward facing dog or cobra from here, or lower to the floor.

Use of a Props and Modifications
1. For beginning students, drop the knees to the mat and lock arms into sides lowering all the way to the floor (half Chaturanga). This will help you work with building strength. As you progress still drop the knees but now lower down only half-way. Once you can do this with ease then attempt full chaturanga.
2. If you have carpel tunnel or wrist issues and have been cleared by a doctor coming to the knees and using fists instead flat palms may provide a useful modification.
3. When learning the full pose placing blocks on the medium setting below the chest is an excellent tool to learn just how far to come down. You can lower to the blocks which will be just at the 90 degree angle of the elbows, then lift back to plank, trying this a few times.
4. To get a feel for the correct arm position, practice it while standing and facing a wall. Bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Flex your wrists, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling. Tuck your tailbone to lengthen your low back.
5. You can also practice the arm alignment by standing and facing a wall. Bend your elbows and press your palms against the wall. You can use a mirror to double check your alignment.

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. If you have carpel tunnel syndrome, wrists issues, tendonitis, shoulder issues, this pose needs to be modified (see above) or removed from practice for a time until you have healed.
c. If you are pregnant, dropping your knees and lowering down only slightly may be the best option in later trimesters.

Knees Chest Chin

Ashtanga Namaskara (Knees Chest Chin) This pose emphasizes the motions needed for cobra pose, by accentuating the fluidity of the spine.

Body Parts Effected: Biceps, triceps, spine, collarbone, core
Preparatory poses: forward fold, plank pose,
Pose type: Backbend
Also known as: Ashtanga Namaskara (ashta = eight, Anga = limb, Namaskara = salutation)

1. Rock forward from Downward dog into plank pose, wrists under shoulders. Belly in, looking forward of the hands which are fanned out on the mat.
2. With an exhalation, lower your knees to the floor. Keep your toes tucked under.
3. Hug your elbows in toward your sides, pointing them back toward your heels.
4. Keeping your hips lifted off the floor and palms flat, bring your chest to the floor.
5. Place your chest between your hands and gently touch your chin to the floor.
6. Hold for 1-10 breaths, and then lower your body all the way to the mat and rest.

Props and Pose Tips
1. A blanket or pad can be placed under the knees if you feel sensitivity.
2. Keep elbows locked into side of body to help support shoulder girdle and maintain posture. This pose is intended to help build strength in the body for full chaturanga.
3. Do not let the belly drop, maintain the integrity of the pose by holding the lower belly in. The core integrity is imperative with this pose.

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. If you are pregnant this pose should be modified after the 1st trimester.
c. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome this pose is not advised as it places a strain on the wrists and forearms. .

Plank Pose

Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose) is one of the first strength poses we encounter in yoga. It requires us to use our core to support our long and lean structure. Only our hands and the balls of our feet support us on the earth (or knees if doing the modified version) but it is our core, our center that engages and fires and holds us steady.

This pose is fundamental in bringing ourselves into a natural state of existence. It does not require of us but asks us to let go, to BE and to accept.

Body Parts Effected: wrists, forearms, shoulders, core, upper and mid back, legs and feet
Preparatory poses: Foundational pose
Pose type: Strength pose, arm-balancing
Also known as: Kumbhakasana (kumbhaka =inhaling, exhaling and retaining, Asana = Pose)

1. Moving from downward facing dog, step one foot back in a lunge then the other.
2. When moving between plank and downdog the feet may need to move to allow for proper alignment. It is find to adjust the feet forward or back to achieve the long line.
3. Shoulders directly over wrists, use the strength of the skeleton to hold you in the pose.
4. Begin to pull the lower belly in supporting the lower back. There should be no sway of the belly towards the floor.
5. Firm the legs by lifting the back of the knees; lift the quadriceps into the hamstrings.
6. The legs should be far enough apart to provide balance but not overly wide.
7. The heels should be pointed to the sky and you should be on the balls of the feet.
8. Begin to round slightly at the shoulder blades, spreading them apart, use the strength of the back body to hold you in place.
9. Breathe calmly and steady through the nose, lengthening the breath.

Modifications and Use of a Props
1. To prevent sway back drop the knees, bring chest forward keeping back straight.
2. For wrist injuries, the full pose can be performed on forearms.
3. For wrist injuries, the full pose can also be done on the knuckles.
4. Using hand gel pads can help lesson wrist tension or folding mat over a couple of times to make a softer surface.

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. Anyone with wrist injuries should not practice the full version of this pose.
c. Anyone with carpal tunnel syndrome should not practice the full version of this pose.
d. If you have osteoporosis this pose should be modified on either forearms, or knees down.

Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) probably the most recognized pose to non-yogis and yogis alike. Resembling an upside down V we find rest in this pose as our practice progresses. Initially challenging the newer student struggles with balance, and lift. This pose is representative of the struggles we face when we are young, and soon overcome and master a level of skill that builds confidence and self-esteem.

This pose helps us find the balance of our body in a slightly inverted position. Maybe not initially intuitive for most yogis but this is actually a resting pose, that can provide a bit of introspection and relief from the riggers of practice.

Body Parts Effected: Arms and Shoulders, legs (Calves and hamstrings), arches of feet and wrists
Preparatory poses: Standing forward fold, half sun salutation, child’s pose
Pose type: Extended forward fold, used for transitioning between poses, resting pose or strengthening pose
Also known as: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Adho =Down, Mukha=Face Svana= Dog Asana = Pose)

1. Starting in all fours position (hands and knees). Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. The fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top edge of your mat. Point your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
2. Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.
3. Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands. It may feel like you are palming a basketball.
4. Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor.
5. Inhale and press your hands firmly into the mat and begin to descend your heels towards the mat. Keeping a deep bend in the knees.
6. Pull your lower belly in toward your back body. Begin to lift your hips high as you exhale into the pose.
7. Begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Only straighten until you feel a stretch. Bring your body into the shape of an inverted “V” Imagine your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs.
8. Adjust the hands or feet to feel a stretch that allows your head to begin to move through your arms. Your arms are shoulder distant apart. The legs should be far enough back on the mat that you feel extended not in a forward fold.
9. Breathe calmly and steady through the nose, lengthening the breath.
10. Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis. As you lengthen your spine, lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling. Now press down equally through your feet and the palms of your hands.
11. Begin to move the shoulders away from the ears allowing your body as much space as possible.
12. Firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your hands at the base of the fingers evenly into the floor. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the top of both shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades into your upper back ribs and toward your tailbone. Broaden across your collarbones.
13. Rotate your arms externally so your elbow creases face your thumbs.
14. Draw your chest toward your thighs as you continue to press the mat away from you, lengthening and decompressing your spine.
15. Engage your quadriceps. Rotate your thighs inward as you continue to lift your sit bones high. Sink your heels toward the floor.
16. Align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.
17. To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to your hands and knees.

Use of a Props or Modified Versions
1. Placing the heels at the base of the wall can provide stability.
2. Using blocks under hands can take weight of shoulders.
3. Actually performing the pose at the wall can be excellent to reduce the hamstring stretch, however this is still a fairly intense shoulder stretch. More emphasis is placed on core engagement with standing ‘downward dog’ . Place hands on wall slightly wider than should distance and step feet back one at a time until spine is parallel to the floor. The feet can be repositioned to lessen the shoulder stretch

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. If you have a shoulder injury consult your physician and follow their directions.
c. For individuals with Hamstring injuries, please bend knees generously.
d. If you have high blood pressure, eye infections or inner ear infections do not do the pose.
e. For wrist injury or severe carpal tunnel syndrome this pose is not recommended. The modified wall version may be acceptable, however consult your physician first.
f. For wrist soreness, if cleared by physician use blocks, or come to fists, alternately using the wall is an excellent way to take stress off the wrist by doing the pose in a standing position.
g. Pregnant women in the first trimester can generally practice downward facing dog and the variants provided there are no other underlying medical conditions. Women should avoid in late term pregnancy.

Triangle Pose

Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle) builds on our foundational poses of Warrior II and Mountain pose. The opposition comes from rooting into the feet whilst stretching with the arms. Again, we see the foundation of mountain as our legs ground and the upper body moves in opposition. This pose opens the heart and extends the spine.

The Legs are solid and we see a firming of the inner groin for stability as we push to the outer edge of the back foot rooting us in the back leg and moving the body forward for a deep full side body stretch

Body Parts Effected: Ankle, legs, thighs, hips, shoulders core
Preparatory poses: Mountain Pose, Warrior II
Pose type: Standing Pose
Also known as: Utthita Trikonasana (Utthita = Extended, Tri = Three, Kona = Angle, Asana = Pose)

1. Standing in Mountain pose step the right leg behind, this is a long stride, aligning the feet in a heel to arch alignment with the toes of the right foot point away from the body at a 45 degree angle. The feet should be generously separated.
2. Reaching the left arm forward until the extension of the spine has reached a comfortable stretch.
3. Allow the left hand to gently press onto the left leg, above or below the knee. Never on the knee, the knee is a hinge not a rotational element.
4. Allow the knees to be straight on both legs, do not lock the knees.
5. Begin to focus on opening up the right hip by “stacking” it over the left. Feel as though you are against a wall and that you are trying to place your body in 2 dimensions.
6. Gently open the waist to begin to align the right waist over the left.
7. Finally open the right shoulder, moving it back in space to stack over the left shoulder
8. Extend the right arm directly above the right shoulder.
9. Gaze turns up toward right hand.
10. The left hand should be gently resting on the left leg but not pushing on it as your chest rotates towards the sky.
11. To exit the pose, look down, soften the left knee gently inhaling to standing maybe passing through Warrior 2 pose.
12. Rotate onto back right ball of foot and step feet together at top of mat back in Mountain Pose.

Use of a Props and Modifications
1. Setting the back foot at the base of a wall can help with grounding of back foot.
2. For Balance using a wall as a prop, align your front foot pinky toe edge to the wall and step foot back with heel at base of wall. As you move into the pose you will have the wall as your full body prop.
3. Using a block to either the inside or outside of the leg to rest the hand.
4. Looking down at the front foot to remove neck strain.
5. Wrapping top arm behind the back is excellent for shoulder pain.
6. Also placing hand of top arm on hip is an excellent way to reduce strain on arm/shoulder.
7. For added core strength and balance, float bottom hand away from floor or leg.
8. Extending both the bottom and top arm alongside the ears will strengthen core and obliques.

a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. Anyone low blood pressure or headaches should not practice the pose.
c. If you have high blood pressure, looking down is preferable in this pose.
d. If you are experiencing menstrual cramping this is an excellent pose helping to stretch the abdominal wall.
e. Anyone with neck injuries should always look down in this pose.
f. Anyone with shoulder injuries should wrap the arm behind back, lay along side or hand at hip to reduce shoulder strain.