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Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Published on June 19, 2010 by in Press

A few years ago I gave Zachary Lewis, a Cleveland Plain Dealer Health and Fitness featured columnist, an inline skating lesson.  Zach, a marathon runner and triathlete, writes a weekly column on different fitness related classes and workout experiences available throughout the Cleveland area.  When Zach emailed me about putting him through a Mobile Yoga Workout  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to present skating to him in a slightly different way from our last lesson.   Knowing that Zach is 6’4 and struggles with hamstring flexibility, and remembering our last lesson together where “bend your knees more” was a ongoing mantra, I chose specific off-skate asanas and on-skate skills and drills that would help prepare his hamstrings for skating and improve his skating technique and overall skating experience.

Zach was receptive and open to all suggestions and quickly got the hang of the skills and drills.  He experienced instant improvement in his technique by focusing on the rhythm of the stride and connecting the movement with his breath.  In our short time together we both were pleasantly surprised by his rapid improvement.  While you might be thinking, “Well of course you’re going to say this Kris, you’re the one pushing the workout.”  If that is the case, then don’t take it from me, but get the low-down right from the source by reading Zach’s article at http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2010/06/mobile_yoga_fuses_inline_skati.html#mode_smoref_twitt.  You can also listen to the radio interview about Zach’s Mobile Yoga Workout experience at http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/news/31077

If you haven’t skated in a while or have avoided skating altogether for one reason or another, why not take a different approach?  You may be as pleasantly surprised as Zach.

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Cool Down Postures

The following are a series of postures that can be used  to loosen up and/or strengthen the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, legs, ankles, and feet that have been utilized during your skate.


Lower Back


Table Pose


Marjariasana (Cat Pose) Inhalation



Marjariasana (Cat Pose) Exhalation


Marjariasana (Cat/Cow Pose)


  • Begin in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt)
  • Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees.
  • Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward.
  • The hands should be in line with the knees; the arms and thigh should be perpendicular to the floor.
  • The knees may be together or slightly separated.
  • This is the starting position. (Table Position)
  • Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave.
  • Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air possible.
  • Exhale, while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward.
  • At the end of the exhalation contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
  • The head will now be between the arms, facing the thigh.
  • This is one round.
  • Repeat 5-10 times

Benefits: This posture benefits the flexibility of the neck shoulders and spine.

Shashankasana (Child's Pose)

Shashankasana (Child’s Pose)


  • Starting from Table Position (see Cat Pose)
  • Press the hips back so that the arms remain straight and the buttocks rest on the back of the calves.
  • At the end of the movement, the ands and forehead should rest on the floor in front of the knees.
  • If possible, the arms and forehead should touch the floor.
  • Bend the arms slightly so that they are fully relaxed and let the elbows rest on the floor.
  • Relax in the position for as long as necessary.
  • Breath naturally.

Benefits: This posture can be used for rest in between any postures that focus on the lower back and abdominal region.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)


  • Begin in Advasana, Reverse Corpse Pose
  • Place the palms of the hands flat on the mat below but slightly to the outside of the shoulders.
  • Elbows should be close to the body and pointing backward. Rest the forehead on the floor and close the eyes.
  • Relax the whole body, especially the lower back.
  • With awareness on the low back and using the muscles in the back first, Inhale, slowly raise the head, neck and shoulders straightening the arms.
  • Be aware of using the back muscles first while starting to raise the trunk.
  • Then use the arms muscles to raise the trunk further and arch the back.
  • In the final position, the pubic bones is in contact with the floor.
  • The arms remained slightly bent with the elbows in toward the sides.
  • On the an exhalation, return to the starting position
  • Repeat 5-10 times

Breathing: Inhale while raising the torso.  Breath normally in the final position if holding position.  Exhale while lowering the torso.


Begin in Advasana (Reverse Corpse Pose)

Ardha Shlabhasana (Half Locust)

Ardha Shalabhasana (Half Locust Pose)


  • Begin in Advasana (Reverse Corpse Pose)
  • On an inhalation,  simultaneously raise the right arm and left leg.
  • The left leg should be stretched backwards and the right arm stretched forward as they are raised.
  • Pause at the top of the movement
  • On the exhalation, lower the leg, head and arm to the stating position.
  • Repeat the same movement alternating to lift the left arm and right leg.
  • Alternate movements between each side for 5-10 repetitions on each side.


Breathing: Inhale as the leg and arm are lifted and exhale as they are released.

Benefits: Beneficial for beginners with weak and stiff backs as it helps to toe the back muscles and stimulate the nerves, particularly in the lower back, while simultaneously giving a strong diagonal stretch to the body.   Improves circulation in the back region and toning the spinal nerves.






Supta Pawanmuktasana (Leg Lock Pose) Starting Postion

Supta Pawanmuktasana (Leg Lock Pose) Final Postion

Modified Supta Pawanmuktasana (Leg Lock Pose)

Supta Pawanmuktasana (Leg Lock Pose)



  • Begin by lying in Shavasana (Supine Base Position)
  • Bend the right knee and bring the thigh to the chest.
  • Interlock fingers and clasp the hands on the shi njust below the right knee.
  • Keep the left leg straight and on the ground.
  • Inhale deeply, filling the lungs as much as possible.
  • Holding the breath, raise the head and shoulders off the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose.
  • Remain in the final position for a few seconds, retaining the breath and counting mentally.
  • While slowly exhaling, return to the supine base position.

Benefits: This pose strengthens the lower back and loosens spinal vertebrae.  It massages abdominal muscles thus aiding digestion.

Practice Note: Ensure that the straight legs remains in contact with ground.  If this is difficult or there is discomfort in the low back, bend the knee of the passive leg and placing the foot on the floor to modify the practice.

Modified Naukasana ( Mini Boat Pose) Starting Postion

Modified Naukasana (Mini Boat Pose) Final Position

Modified Naukasana (Mini Boat)


  • Begin in the Shavasana (Supine Base Position)
  • Bend the knees and place the soles of both feet flat on the ground, directly in front of the buttocks.
  • Place the hands on the thighs and the focus on the abdomen
  • Inhale, then on the Exhale, using the engaging the abdominal muscles,  slide the hand up the thighs toward the knee cap.
  • While lifting the torso, the head should remain in alignment with the spine and the chin should be off the chest.
  • Pause as the figure tips reach the knee cap or along the thigh if there is any discomfort.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the hands and torso to the starting position.
  • Repeat up to 10 times.

Modified Naukasana ( Half Boat Pose) Starting Position

Modified Naukasana (Half Boat Pose) Final Position

Modified Naukasana (Half Boat)


  • Begin in the Shavasana (Supine Base Position)
  • Bend the right knee placing the sole of the right foot flat on the ground, directly in front of the buttocks.
  • Inhale, contract the abdominal muscles and lift the shoulders and left leg about 6 inches off the ground.
  • Pause at the top of the movement.
  • Exhale and release to the starting position.
  • Repeat up to 10 times on each side.  Release the bent leg and take a few breaths in shavasana between sides.

Naukasana (Boat Pose) Starting Position

Naukasana (Boat Pose) Final Position

Naukasana (Boat Pose)


  • Begin in the Shavasana (Supine Base Position)
  • Take a breath in and contract the abdomen
  • Simultaneously lift the shoulders and legs equal distance off the mat (about 6 inches)
  • The arms and toes should be in alignment
  • Breath naturally for a few breaths and release the pose on an exhalation slowly lowering the body into the starting position.
  • Repeat up to 5 rounds
  • Take a few deep abdominal breaths in between each round to relax the abdominal muscles.

Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Pose) Starting Position

Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal Pose) Final Position

Sleeping Abdominal Pose


  • Begin in the Shavasana (Supine Base Position)
  • Bend the knees and place the soles of both feet flat on the ground, directly in front of the buttocks.
  • Keep the knees and feet together throughout the exercise.
  • Interlock the fingers of both hands and place the palms under the back of the head.
  • On an exhalation, slowly lower the legs to the right, bring the knees toward the mat.  The feet should remain in contact with each other.  Simultaneously turn the head and neck in the opposite direction to the legs.
  • On an inhalation raise both legs to the upright position.
  • Keep the shoulders and elbows in contact with the mat through the exercise.
  • Repeat 5-10 times alternating between right and left sides.


Parvatasana (Mountain Pose) Final Position

Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)


  • Begin in Table Position placing your hands directly underneath the shoulders, knees under the hips, roll the toes under.
  • On an inhalation, lift the buttocks upward rising onto the toes.
  • On the exhalation press the hips back and the heels downward, allowing the head to lower between the arms.
  • In the final position the back and legs form two sides of a triangle and  heels will be against the ground.
  • Hold this position for a up to 3-5 breaths.
  • Release the pose on an inhalation rising back up onto the toes, exhale and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 5-7 times



Ankles/Feet + Balance

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Eka Pada Pranamasana (One Legged Prayer Pose aka Tree Pose) Beginning Position

Eka Pada Pranamasana (One Legged Prayer Pose aka Tree) Full Version

Modified Eka Pada Pranamasana (One Legged Prayer Pose aka Tree)

Tree Pose


  • Stand upright with the feet together and the arms at the sides. Find a stationary point at eye level or below at approximately 5-10 feet away to fix the eyes on.
  • Hands are placed in palms together at the heart in the Pranamasana or Prayer Position
  • Shift weight over to the left side while the right leg and placing the right foot along the inside of the leg. (Beginners keep foot near the ankle.  Advanced can put the foot near the knee or groin.)
  • The right knee should point out to the side.
  • Hold the ankle until the body is balanced.
  • If comfortable raise the arms over the head, stretching the arms upward.
  • Work up to holding position for up to 10 breaths or 1 minute
  • Repeat on the second side
  • Alternate 2-3 times between sides.

Breathing: Breath naturally when in this pose.

Benefits: Promotes balance -Also strengthens the ankle and foot muscles which are integral to skating.

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Mobile 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 feet firmly planted on the earth, you may want to give a rolling version of some of your favorite postures a try.

Skating ability and experience in performing various standing postures will determine the number and difficulty of postures that can be accomplished while skating.  Please honor your limitations.

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose) Beginner

Modified Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose) Beginner

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1) Intermediate-Advanced

Modified Forward Bend Intermediate

Saral Natarajasana (prepatory Lord Shiva's Pose) Advanced

Eka Padasana (One Foot Pose) Advanced

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