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Mobile Yoga in Piran, Slovenia!

The "One-Legged Waiter" aka "One Legged Lotus" Photo Courtesy of Marijan Šabič

'Namaskarasana/Salutation Pose" with Jadyn Photo Courtesy of Marijan Šabič

I recently returned from a trip to Europe and had the pleasure of skating with two of my children and good friend and native Slovenian Franc Pirc  in Tartini Square in Piran, Slovenia. Tartini Square is named after violinist Giuseppe Tartini and is a gathering point in Piran.  It is an exquisite setting and has a built in “rink” that practically begs to be skated on!

Having skated with Franc many times before on Tartini Square I was already accustomed to that fact that he is somewhat of a celebrity on Tartini Square and by association, temporarily become one as well!  On most days Franc can be found skating to the music that emanates from the many cafes and restaurants that surround the square for the crowd that has gathered or giving lessons to children and adults who want to learn the basics.  Franc has been skating since the mid-90′s and really enjoys the freedom and exhilaration that skating can bring.   He rarely misses a day skating and averages approximately 330 days per year.  To see him skate you would never guess that he was 71 years old!

Prior to my visit, Franc had seen the Mobile Yoga Workout website and wanted to go over the basics of the workout as well as some of the on skate postures.   Since Franc starts every day with various yoga postures, stretches, and breathing exercises, he was able to easily integrate what he already practices into the workout.   After going through the basics Franc was eager to show me some of his own “on-skate postures”  My favorite, the one legged-waiter or what I  renamed and “yogified”"the one-legged lotus” (shown above) was my favorite.   Franc is an inspiration to all of us and through his obvious health and vitality is a prime example of how an active life can keep you truly “mobile”.

"Mom Loves Son Pose" Photo Courtesy of Marijan Šabič

Friendly Faces in the Crowd-Franc's Partner Wilma and My Husband Greg Photo Courtesy of Marijan Šabič

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Many Skates, Much Love

Published on August 4, 2010 by in Skating

While recently going through an old jewelry box I found a charm bracelet I hadn’t seen in years.  On it were 2 skaters and 3 pairs of skates-figure, hockey, and inline.

I had forgotten that I had this bracelet and decided that it shouldn’t be relegated to a box but should be worn instead.  My 5 year old daughter immediately noticed that I was wearing it, and as a multi-discipline skater herself, was excited by my “re-find.” We went through and identified each charm and when we finished she said “You really love skating Mommy.”

On any given day I may wear all three pairs of skates.   Whether I am figure skating for myself, teaching an inline skater how to maximize their stride, or surrounded by 15 high school pungently smelling hockey players, at some point in the day there are some kind of skates on my feet.

A few weeks ago, in between skating lessons, I was running  late to substitute teach for a lunchtime chair yoga class at a downtown law firm.  To make matters worse I misjudged the proximity of the parking lot and class.  With the lunchtime rush looming I would probably never find a closer parking spot and figured I better go on foot.  With  my yoga mat tucked under my arm I started to make a run for it but after 5 steps or so I remembered that there is always at least one pair of skates in the trunk.  As the trunk popped open I was relieved to see that the pair inside were inline and not ice!   I quickly put on my skates and tucked my yoga mat back under my arm and deftly maneuvered through the lunchtime crowd and made it to class just in time.

Since chair yoga is often for older folks or for those who may have difficulty sitting on the floor,  I was surprised to see  my class consisted of 30-50 somethings who did not looked at all physically compromised. They also had seemingly missed the memo in regard to wearing appropriate and comfortable  attire to class and were all in their work clothes;  panty hose, silk blouses, and all!   On a less judgmental note, that’s the great thing about yoga- anytime, anywhere.  Anyway…. It was just after 1pm when I finished teaching the class and as I skated the 15 or so blocks back to my car I began to reflect on the class, the office setting  and the women awkwardly stretching in their business attire.    With amount of grace city sidewalks will allow, I rolled passed  all the full bellied and well dressed 9-5ers heading back to their offices.  As I negotiated people and curbs  I became lost in thought as to what it would be like to have to dress up in more then stretch pants and a pony tail and go to the office every day.  Thoughts like this  become more prevalent on days when I am running from one rink to the next living my life in 30-60 minute increments hoping that my lessons will show up and waiting (with no pay) when they don’t.  Switching gears between skating styles, terminology, age appropriate verbiage, etc.  Hockey. Figure. Yoga. Inline. Yoga. Inline.  Hockey.  Figure.   Different everyday. Different every hour. On crazy days when my day is split up and I am in the car as much or more then  I am actually teaching I often wonder what it would be like  to be employed at the same place each day, to work regular hours, and to know what it would be like to receive a reliable paycheck (my husband often wonders this as well…).

The crowds thinned as I continued on my way still lost in the fantasy of the perfect job that I might be missing out on.  Then suddenly, as clear as the streets had become, it came to me.   Here I was in the middle of the afternoon with skates on my feet and a yoga mat tucked under my arm.   I just might be on to something.   As I made my way back to my car I couldn’t help but grin.  All the years I skated for myself, all the education and exercise related college courses I have taken, the many skating and yoga trainings and workshops  I have attended  have given me the opportunity and experience to do what so many people wish they could do -make a life and living doing what they love the most. The paycheck may not be consistent or particularly big, but I am certainly leading a rich life full of freedom and fun.

As I look down at my bracelet  I think of what my daughter said to me and what I should have said immediately back to her.   “Yes, you are right honey, Mommy loves to skate!”

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Hydration & Fuel

With the summer heating up, it is important to remember to be properly hydrated and have enough fuel stores to get through your skate.  Proper sports nutrition whether skating, running, cycling, etc. is basically the same.  The idea to keep the body hydrated and fueled to ensure optimal performance resonates throughout these and all sports.  There are recommended amounts of protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, etc. that have been found to be most advantageous while exercising. Sports nutritionists are continually revising the percentages of these nutrients that promote “optimal” sports performance.   Considering most of us just want to get out there and skate, let’s not delve into percentages at this time but recognize that a nutritionally balanced diet will most likely suffice with healthy food choices playing a big role.   Keeping it simple can often be the best motivator.

You have just geared up, your skates are on and you are ready to roll.  Inside your fanny or back pack should be the following fuel items:

  1. Water bottle
  2. Sports Energy Bar (Some are better than others…try Go Raw’s Sprirulina Energy Bar)
  3. Apple/Banana

Hydration is a biggie while you are skating. Be sure to take a swig from your water bottle whenever you feel the need or about every 20 minutes to keep your body properly hydrated throughout your workout. It is recommended that we drink 64 ounces a day (8 glasses),  but depending on the heat and intensity of your workout, shoot for between 64-100 ounces (8-12 glasses) to replenish fluids lost due to sweat.   2. The energy bar is a great choice for your turn around or halfway point.  The influx of calories and nutrients will give your body an added boost that should be enough to get back home or to your car.   3.  The apple, banana or any piece of fruit can be used for emergency energy while you are skating.  However, if you don’t need it during your skate, use it as an after workout snack. Fruits and vegetables are healthy alternatives after a long skate. Keeping healthy snacks on hand after a workout will help eliminate the urge to overeat during your post workout meal.

The more you skate, the longer you can skate.  With every mile logged, your base of miles increases.  As you build confidence in your abilities as a skater, you may decide to increase the distance, intensity, or both during your workout.  Keeping your body fueled properly will give you the energy you need to help reach your individual skating goals.

The summer is in full swing so take advantage of the sun and warmth while it is here.

So here’s to a great skate! (Take a swig from water bottle here!)

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