I found the “Eight Poses of Empowerment” in a 90s Scott Cole conditioning video that had disappeared over the years, along with the antiquated VCR player on which I played it.
Scott Cole is a Tai Chi master and did this sequence so beautifully on the video. At the time, I memorized it and taught the “Eight Poses of Empowerment” in my yoga classes.
I remember feeling a little guilty at the time teaching something that wasn’t technically YOGA, but hey, Tai Chi and yoga have the same roots and that was good enough for me.
Plus, my students LOVED it.
There’s something graceful about this sequence and it really DOES create a feeling of empowerment when doing it.
Years later I went looking for this sequence again and was so excited to find it on YouTube. Scott tells the story about how people loved the sequence (like me!) and about the origins of the eight poses (it came to him in a dream). If you want to see a true master do it, then watch this.
This is my quick version that I’ve taught in classes all over Japan and Hawaii, and students always remark on how much they enjoy it.
The eight poses are:
- Grounding (I use “Generating” in my version…kinda like both)
Some of the cool things about the Eight Poses of Empowerment are:
- it requires a surprising amount of core stabilization
- it can all be done in rhythm with the breath, just like a sun salutation
- it’s a perfect warm-up that’s easy on the body and joints
- all types of students can do it—old, young, beginners, advanced
- it feels good to think about the empowering words that are the eight poses
- it requires presence of mind (you can’t go on automatic while doing it!)
Scott Cole has many beautiful videos available on amazon.com, which you can see by going here.
For more Vinyasa Shorts like the one above, you can find them on the BlissfulYogini YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe while you’re there!).
If you’d like to memorize it to teach to your students, we’ve included a cheatsheet of this sequence, click below to download and join our mailing list!
I would love to hear your feedback if you give this a try with your students.