Coach Liz"Gain flexibility, strength, endurance, balance and a mind-body connection by adding a Yoga practice to any fitness program."

Liz Miller

The ancient practice of Yoga is much more than its physical aspect: a formalized series of stances and stretching poses. Many variations of Yoga are popular in the U.S. today because they help people of all types and ages strengthen bones and muscles, correct posture, improve breathing and balance, and calm the mind.

Moving mindfully through Yoga asanas, or postures, offsets the abrupt and repetitive movements of other types of exercise. Yoga requires concentration and intellect to achieve proper alignment. To advanced practitioners, this becomes a soothing form of moving meditation.

Please enroll in a local Yoga class so you will learn how to move safely into and out of these Yoga poses. Performing individual poses outside a prescribed sequence—or doing them before warming up—may reduce the benefits and actually increase your chances for injury or strain. By receiving instruction from a professional, you will learn how to refine the poses to ensure proper alignment.



Sun Salutations are a repeated sequence of classic Yoga postures. Performing at least five repetitions gets the blood flowing and stimulates the whole body while it engages the mind. Performing a set of Sun Salutations is an excellent way to warm-up for your resistance training or stretching sessions.

Follow the sequence listed below, paying particular attention to your breathing. In general, you inhale on expanding or upward-directed movements and exhale on all contracting or folding-inward movements.

You will start and end in Mountain Pose; notice that the poses begin to repeat in reverse order half way through. The challenge of memorizing this sequence is an important part of the mind/body connection that Yoga is intended to bring you.

Repeat the series two to four more times without rushing. Remember to relax and allow-rather than force-your body into each pose. This is good advice for attaining a less stressful lifestyle, too. And learning to do that leads to your first taste of the infamous Yoga mind/body connection!

Return to top


Yoga classes are now taught in three quarters of the gyms in the US, a pretty good indication that we are beginning to appreciate its fitness benefits. Practicing the widely varying sequences of poses is challenging and oftentimes strenuous and stimulating, but in a calming way. A consistent Yoga practice can build the kind of endurance and power you see in a martial arts master, and without the need to lift heavy weights. Most people find that the concentration required to balance and align their bodies while focusing on breathing results in a calming, mind-body connection.

Use a four-count breath to measure time and improve your concentration while holding the endurance and balance poses in your Yoga practice. A series of four deep breaths like this should take about 30 seconds to complete, and that is the minimum time to hold each pose.

The following Yoga poses combine stretching with hip and thigh strengthening. You should do these twice per week while stretching after a skate workout. Do each pose once, and do both sides where applicable. While holding the pose, let your mind explore the tightest areas and see if you can breathe away any unnecessary muscular gripping. Learning to let go on the mat helps you learn to let go of unnecessary stressors in your life. Really!

Bridge poseBridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Strengthens thighs and buttocks and stretches spine.

Chair PoseChair Pose (Utkatasana)

Similar to the skater's "wall sit," this pose strengthens thighs, torso and buttocks while stretching the spine, calves and shoulders.

Warrior One poseWarrior 1 Pose (Virbhadrasana 1)

Strengthens thighs and stretches hips and hip flexors.

Warrior 2 Pose (Virbhadrasana 3)Warrior 2 pose

Strengthens shoulders, thighs and buttocks and stretches hips and groins.

Return to top


Yoga appears in every part of these workouts because it offers skaters so much: flexibility, endurance, core strength, optimized breathing, balance and mental focus. But one of the best benefits of a Yoga practice is the body awareness you learn from the minute muscle and joint adjustments you make as coached by a certified, experienced professional. The structural control you will gain benefits all of your athletic endeavors. That is why at this point, I urge you to find and participate in at least one Hatha or Iyengar Yoga class per week (these are the most commonly taught).

Whether or not you attend classes, use the following poses as a cool-down to relax and lengthen your muscles after your skate training workouts. Hold each pose for 10 slow inhalations and exhalations. Meanwhile, look for clenched areas you can let go of without losing the shape of the pose.

Return to top