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Inline Skating Newsletter Article

Yoga for Inline Skaters

By Liz Miller

For Safety's Sake

Please enroll in a local Yoga class so you will learn how to move safely into and out of these Yoga poses (known as asanas). 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.

Balance Poses

For best results, do balance poses on a hard floor with your gaze fixed on a stationary mark. To challenge yourself, do them on a plush carpet or on a wobble board. For less challenge, use a nearby wall for added support. Try to hold for 30 seconds or more. Start each pose in your best posture: be as tall and erect as possible with weight equally balanced over all parts of your feet. This is called Mountain Pose.

Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
  • Press palms together in prayer position at chest
  • Press right heel against left knee, with right knee and right heel turned out as much as possible
  • (Optional) Raise right heel to left thigh (use your hands to pull the foot up if needed)
  • Squeeze heel into thigh, pushing right knee back and hips forward
  • If stable, raise hands overhead, palms facing in
  • Lower limbs slowly and repeat on reverse side
Tree Pose
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
  • Bring left elbow front and center
  • Right elbow crosses under, backs of hands touch
  • (Optional) Right fingers meet left palm
  • Right knee crosses over left well-bent knee
  • (Optional) Wrap right foot around left calf
  • Unwrap and repeat on reverse side
Eagle Pose
Warrior 3 Pose (Virbhadrasana 3)
  • Raise both arms overhead, hands at shoulder width, palms facing in
  • Extend right leg back, straight knee, toe on floor
  • Tip torso forward as back leg lifts and balance on support leg without twisting hips or shoulders
  • Ultimate is capital "T" shape: a horizontal torso
  • Return to upright and repeat on reverse side
Warrior 3 Pose

Strength Poses

These poses build strength in the hips and both front and back of thighs. Try to hold each pose for one minute or more.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
  • Lie on your back with heels close to hips, palms flat
  • Starting with pelvis, roll spine slowly up off the floor
  • Push hips and chest skyward; the neck stretches long
  • Keep knees at hip width and hold steady
  • Roll down one vertebrae at a time, starting with neck
Bridge Pose
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  • Raise both arms overhead, hands at shoulder width, palms facing in
  • Bend both knees and stop before heels lift
  • Distribute weight equally over fronts and backs of feet
    Fix gaze on stationary point if balance wavers
  • (Optional) Step one foot back to Warrior 1 - see below
Chair Pose
Warrior 1 Pose (Virbhadrasana 1)
  • Assume Chair Pose as described above
  • Shift weight to left foot
  • Reach right foot straight back and land with toes angled out at a distance that allows the heel to stay in contact
  • Square hips and shoulders to front, even weight both feet
  • Shift weight to left to return Chair Pose for other side
Warriror 1
Warrior 2 Pose (Virbhadrasana 3)
  • With feet very wide, raise arms to the sides, palms down
  • Look over the left shoulder; turn left foot to point left
  • Turn toes of right foot toward midline, about 45 degrees
    Shift hips left and bend knee, torso upright weight on right
  • Left knee stays aligned directly over ankle, not tipped forward, not bent more than 90 degrees
  • Keep weight on right leg with knee facing out, not down
Warrior 2 Pose

After-Skate Poses

These poses feel very good after a long skating session, and help open joints and loosen muscles that become tight by the work. Stretching while your body is still warm is the safest way to reduce the risk of injury and gain better range of motion.

Wide Angle Forward Bend
(Parsarita Padottanasana)
  • Stretches the feet, calves, hips and back
  • With feet very wide apart, put hands on hips
  • Fold forward and allow head to be heavy
  • (Optional) Hands to ground if too intense
Wide Angle Forward Bend

Child Pose (Balasana)
  • Releases and stretches the lower and mid back
  • Kneel on a mat or carpet and sit on heels
  • Fold forward and touch forehead to the floor
  • Reach hands back on floor, palms up beside hips
Child Pose

Downward Facing Dog
(Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Stretches hamstrings, calves, feet, back and shoulders
  • From Child Pose, rise to all fours, feet at hip width
  • Raise tailbone high, and align head, spine and shoulders to make a straight line from tail to fingers
  • Push heels toward floor and keep legs straight
Downward Dog

Pigeon Pose Variation 1
(Ekapada Rajakapotasana)
  • Stretches the outside and front of hip
  • From Downward Facing Dog, pull right knee toward nose
  • Position right foot under left hip and set it down, then lower right knee to floor
  • Touch down with left knee; push it further back if possible while torso stays upright, facing front
  • (Optional) Hips facing front, rest on elbows
  • Repeat on the other side
Pigeon Pose

Dancer's Pose (Natarajasana)
  • Stretches hips, thigh, shoulders. Great for balance, too!
  • From Mountain Pose, raise right arm overhead
  • Use left hand to capture the left foot behind
  • Tip torso forward while raising left knee up behind
  • Press left foot into hand without twisting body
  • Ultimate is "T" shape: horizontal torso and thigh
  • Repeat on the other side

Other Useful Poses

Performing the Poses in a Sequence

To add flow to your practice, intersperse one of the standing poses after each repetition of a Sun Salutation. (For poses with a right and left side, do a Sun Salutation in between each.)

A simple Sun Salutation: