Find Your Warrior's Path Through Turbo Dog

Willow Ryan

Contributor - Yoga, Massage & Bodywork

Portland, Oregon, United States


Last week’s article 25 Yoga Poses That Will Make You a Better Runner was focused on yoga and running, though many of the positions listed benefit all types of athletes and active people. In reality our clients range in the types of activity they enjoy and the varying levels of activity they participate in, from injured and recovering from surgery to weekend warriors or professional athletes. What all of these clients have in common is the love for getting stronger and gaining emotional composure. They are modern day warriors.


Turbo Dog was created by Ana Forrest as a way to alleviate aches, pains, and stresses of modern day living. Part of her legacy is leaving people feeling empowered and inspired to make necessary changes in life to be happier - even when it means making a challenging decision. Every time I’ve deepened my practice with Forrest Yoga, I feel my identity strengthening as well. It all begins with making a breath happen on purpose and holding still long enough for weakness to leave the body.



Let’s practice this with Turbo Dog. While it might appear to be about strengthening your arms and back, there's a lot more to it. Start with Downward Dog:


Downward Dog (Hold 5 Breaths)

  1. downward dog, yoga, forrest yoga, willow ryan, turbodogOn your hands (shoulder width apart) and knees (hip width apart)
  2. Wrap your shoulder blades toward your armpits
  3. Inhale – Breathe into the upper back and relax the neck
  4. Exhale – Lift your knees off the floor



Up-level to Turbo Dog to increase strengthening. Work up from 5 breaths to several minutes with no bone friction.


Turbo Dog (Hold 5 Breaths)

  1. On your hands (shoulder width apart) and knees (hip width apart)
  2. Wrap your shoulder blades toward armpits, lift the part of downward dog, yoga, forrest yoga, willow ryan, turbodogyour spine between the shoulder blades, feel for activating chest muscles and upper back, and relax head and neck.
  3. Inhale – Bend elbows 3 inches from the floor, moving them toward each other
  4. Exhale – Straighten your legs and lift into Downward Dog.
  5. Keep energy moving through your arms and chest, keep collarbones moving towards your feet. Reach your forearms away from your wrists. Use your upper back, chest, and arms to hold the space between the bones of the shoulder joint.


At first attempt, Turbo Dog may seem like nothing more than a good triceps and latissimus dorsi challenge. Hold longer and it will serenade ego and spirit to meet. It can stir up ancient sediment from the soul and require fortitude to hold steady when ego speaks, “Leave,” and spirit says, “Stay.”


In a culture driven by instant results, we often seek activities that graze the surface and miss opportunities to learn about ourselves in a deeper way. Holding steady and still requires focus, and a willingness to let go of achieving instant results. Many distractions limit our ability to grow into the person we yearn to be. Meditation in a specific position can be a reminder for us to stop seeking things outside of ourselves for pleasure and be content with knowing that we are good enough, the way in which we were born into this life.


Knowing our selves, knowing our strengths, and transforming our weaknesses is the warrior’s path. Staying on this path to better our selves and the lives of others is the life of a warrior. You are one. If you feel lost from your identity and path, return to Turbo Dog. Return to your breath. It’s that simple.


Don't forget - you can email your questions to and she will answer them in her Dear Willow column!

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