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Mobile Yoga Buzz

Published on April 21, 2010 by in Health & Fitness

 

Inspiration from a new "angle."

In the last few weeks, we’ve certainly received a lot of buzz around Mobile Yoga. Some positive, some not-so-positive—but regardless of opinion, we are encouraged that thoughtful dialogue is taking place and that we are stimulating discussion about the roots and purpose of yoga as a discipline. One such blogger agreed to interview me after an original posting which was less than affirmative on the idea of Mobile Yoga. We appreciate her willingness to engage and her openness to post my perspective. And even if we choose not to agree at the end of the day, it none-the-less strengthens our respective understandings of yoga and hopefully, as a reader, strengthens yours as well.

Interview as published on itsallyogababy.com

From what I understand from your bio, you have a long and deep relationship with yoga, having trained in the Satyananda tradition and received mantra initiation. Do you feel that the practice is compromised by blending it with another form of physical exercise? And what do your teachers think about this?

On the surface, Mobile Yoga looks like anything but a traditional yoga practice.  However, through my studies and experiences I have found that to be a true practitioner of yoga you need to take what you are doing on the mat off into the world. Since much of my “world” is made up of skating it was not difficult for me to recognize and assimilate yoga elements while skating or teaching skating.

The traditional approach to yoga helps us manage our lives and can inspire many different activities. The Mobile Yoga concept will hopefully attract some people to explore yoga that might otherwise be put off by the classical yogic concepts of linking breath to movement and doing meditation. In turn it may also bring others to skating because they are looking for a way to improve their overall cardiovascular health in a way that is gentle on the body.

I came to yoga to learn stress reduction techniques and to improve my overall physical flexibility. Through study and practice, I have not only managed to reduce the amount of stressors in my life and improve the condition of my physical body, I also managed to enhance my skating ability as well.

Being yoga purists so-to-speak, my teachers are a bit skeptical of many of the “fusion” practices out there as the connection between yoga and whatever activity, seem to be quite weak. However, as long as my teachers have known me they have known me as a skater who has found ways to bring my understanding of yoga to other skaters. Sometimes it is important to meet people where they are and to provide them with techniques and choices that will bring awareness and balance into exploration of fitness in unsuspecting ways. This is the inspiration for Mobile Yoga.

At first glance, it appears that Mobile Yoga was the product of Rollerblade marketing efforts – but the publicist told me that you actually approached Rollerblade with the idea. What inspired you to do that?

 

My experience teaching a variety of health, wellness, and teacher education classes at Cleveland State University has exposed me to hundreds of students who are seeking ways to improve their physical health and reduce stress in their increasingly time-challenged lives. My recommendation has always been “more skating, more yoga,” so you could say my students were the inspiration.

Do you think that Mobile Yoga would have more appeal to people who practice yoga or people who inline skate?

Actually I think it could appeal to both equally because I believe that each group may be missing what the other “activity” has to offer. My overall goal is to appeal to anyone seeking ways to improve their overall physical health and reduce stress in their life. Skaters, non-skaters, yogis, yoginis, it doesn’t matter.

The personality, or body type for that matter, that comes to skating may not be the same that comes to yoga. Therefore giving the exposure of one to the other can be mutually beneficial. Yoga postures can prepare the body for activity and encourages the body and mind connection. Skating with body and breath awareness facilitates mindfulness. It is a win-win situation.

Exercise is kind of like religion. What works for some may not work for others but in most cases gets us to the same place. The Mobile Yoga Workout is just another option for those seeking to reconnect body, mind, and spirit.

 

The post on my blog received many comments from yogis, most of which were skeptical and derisive. I’ve also noticed similar conversations on other yoga blogs. How do you feel about this? Does it surprise you?

Given the number of “fusion” concepts out there it doesn’t surprise me. Having the opportunity to explain the concept and inspiration behind the workout through various magazine articles, blog posts, etc. I believe that the authenticity of my intention behind developing this workout will shine through. While I will not be able to convince all detractors of the merits of giving Mobile Yoga a try, my explanation should answer some questions and provide insight into the impetus of putting skating and yoga together.

 

And just a technical question: how many yoga asanas can actually be done while wearing skates? Have you seen many injuries in the classes that you’ve taught?

Doing yoga asana on skates is not a main component of the Mobile Yoga Workout. While it makes for some interesting “eye candy” it isn’t my goal to see people rolling through the park doing Lord Shiva’s Dance pose! A complete asana practice is comprised of a variety of forward and backward bends, twists and balance postures. Since skating is “balance in motion” just moving forward on skates provides the opportunity to practice balance within the workout.  However, for those who have mastered the basics of moving, stopping, and turning on skates and have successfully accomplished various yoga balance postures with their feet firmly planted on the earth, they may want to give a rolling version of some of their favorite postures a try. Skating ability and experience in doing various standing postures will determine the number and difficulty of postures that can be accomplished while skating. In all my classes yoga, skating, and otherwise, I always encourage my students to “honor their limitations.” This basic yogic precept has kept my students thus far injury free.

Om tat sat

 

 
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4 Comments  comments 

4 Responses

  1. Noreen O'Donnell

    As a multi-sport athlete the concept of combining two disciplines is intriguing to me. Especially two disciplines that are more forgiving on my aging skeletal system;o) Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. As a former runner who suffered injuries from not stretching enough, I have experienced the unforgiving skeletal system first hand, or “first hip” in my case. You might want to consider using the workout on your easy days or after competing as an “active recovery workout.” Let me know if you have any questions on getting started. Your skeleton will thank you!

  3. cynde Hoffman

    I was so excited to see this site..I have been rollerblading and doing yoga for 20 years..and I do yoga on my blades as part of my routine all the time. I was telling my son how much I love them both and wished I could incorporate them both into a class. I just came across your site and couldnt believe my eyes…I live in Chicago and unfortunatly the weather here doesnt always cooperate and I have long periods that I cant blade. Its now spring and I want to do a rollerblading marathon this fall so I am trying to get a more intense workout routine but still gentle on my body since I will be 54 this year. I would love to hear more about your business. I am a business owner also..I have a retail cosmetic company and a Makeup Artist Training class. Im so envious of your beautiful background in your video..you are truly blessed!!

  4. Thanks Cynde!

    Wow! You have been skating and practicing yoga a long time yourself. Happy to hear that you had made the connection between skating and yoga as well. You mention that you would like to incorporate both in your classes. Do you teach skating/and or yoga or were you talking about adding skating and yoga to your cosmetic classes? There are a great contingency of skaters in the Chicago area so perhaps a Mobile Yoga Workshop can be scheduled there in the near future.

    In regard to your marathon training, in addition to the miles logged on skates, keep up with the yoga and especially pranayama(the breathing practices). A few years back I signed up for a marathon that I wasn’t really in shape for and with the help of a good friend who skated with me and my consistent yoga practice, I managed to skate my best marathon time! During that race my focus was on my breath and connecting it to the rhythm of the stroke and glide. I am convinced that is what got me through.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding training and look back to the site periodically for more workout updates.

    Kris

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