Yoga By The Pool For Mental Health

Dorian and Lehua Wright | Leah Friel photo

Power Yoga Hawaii and The Modern Honolulu host a daylong yoga festival, Poses emPOWER, Oct. 26 at the hotel’s Sunset Pool.

The event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features seven classes taught by some of Oahu’s top yoga instructors, and accompanied by a local musician and/or DJ, including John Cruz, Makana, DJ G-spot and Ashley Lilinoe.

The event also serves as a benefit with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Mental Health America Hawaii and its programs in preventing youth suicide and bullying.

“Power Yoga Hawaii (which is a donation-based yoga studio) has been doing charity events since we opened,” explains Lehua Wright who, along with husband Dorian, opened Power Yoga Hawaii at 510 Piikoi St. near Ala Moana Center two-and-a-half years ago.

“We started with member passes like other yoga studios and we just didn’t like that model, we liked the model that our teacher Bryan Kest in Santa Monica came up with,” adds Dorian. “They say when you start practicing yoga, your intuition gets stronger, and my intuition just said do the donation thing, now is the time. So, we did (at the start of the year) and it’s going great.

“We have a whole new group of people both young and old where it’s affordable for them, which is what yoga should be. It should be for everyone.”

Lehua and Dorian specialize in traditional Power Yoga but also offer other types of classes in their studio, such as Bhakti Flow with Coco Zhang, Fluid Power and Aerial Yoga.

For Poses emPOWER, the Wrights chose to give back to Mental Health America Hawaii because it’s a cause close to their hearts.

“When I was 19 my dad died of a heart attack, and six months later my mom committed suicide on Christmas Eve,” recalls Lehua, who started practicing yoga at 24. “I had a lot of anger and guilt toward my mom, and until I did my teacher training (in yoga) I didn’t have that release.

“I’m finally OK with it, and yoga was a huge part of it. In Power Yoga, a lot of the teaching is based on philosophies about feeling good with who you are and where you’re at, and that’s a healing process from the inside out. The physical aspects – that’s a byproduct of the practice.”

Participation in Poses emPOWER begins with a $30 donation per person, per class. Reservations are required at Class packages also are available. For more information, visit