It’s a little strange hobby to pick up in one’s mid-30s, but recently I fell in love with longboarding after a friend of mine made me try. Skating from East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands on a weekend has been such a refreshing activity since. As I signed up for weekend YTT, I can’t cruise on weekends for 10 weeks (I do not want to skate until YTT ends, just in case. I’m such a newbie skater and fall and injury can happen anytime). While I’m having an itch to skate, I researched about benefits of yoga for skaters/cruisers. There are quite a few, but these 3 are what I think the most important.
Benefits of Yoga for Skaters
1. Yoga improves balancing
This may sound quite obvious, but both yoga and skating are something in common. They both have a lot of movements that requires a sense of balance. By practicing balance-centric sequences and one-legged asanas, skaters can sharpen their sense of balance and stability.
2. Yoga neutralises postures and muscles
Yoga is a balanced exercise, that asana practice is always performed both left/right, and paired with counter poses. Skateboarding on the other hand tends to use one dominant side of the body heavily, as most people use one same leg to keep kicking. They also tend to stay in a fixed posture for a long time while cruising that could contribute to the unbalanced postures. Regular yoga practice can tone skaters’ body and balance their muscle buildings.
3. Yoga can be a great relaxation tool for daredevils
Skaters are often thrill-seekers. They would love push themselves to do something fast, furious or edgy if not crazy. I’ve heard some of them saying yoga is “too static / too slow / boring” for them. They may be right, and that’s exactly what they need. Skaters tend to have restless mind with or without noticing. Savasana can definitely help them learning how to retreat from the hyper state, and slow-paced yoga like Yin can allow them to give space to reset their body and mind.
So What Asanas Are Great for Skaters?
1. For Push & Single-Leg Balance
It is a must to have strong & flexible thighs and single leg balance to push the ground stronger. You can practice Warrior 1 and 2 for thighs, then move on to Eagle Pose, Half Moon Pose, Warrior 3 for balancing practice. If you’re a total yoga beginner and found above poses are too difficult, you can start from single-leg standing poses like Tree Pose.
2. For Stability, To Curve/Turn
Core muscles (including side core) and two-leg balance poses will help you. Plank, Side Plank, Boat Pose are perfect core muscle training that will enable you to turn quickly on a skateboard. Practicing poses like Heel-up Chair Pose, Triangle Pose, Reverse Triangle Pose regularly, you can improve stability even when you’re on difficult paths.
Skater and yoga teacher Shane Carrick said “Yoga is my Yin and skateboarding is my Yang. Together I find balance”. I agree with him. They look completely different as activities, but when you put them together in your life, they work great just like Yin and Yang. Both are something that makes my life fulfilling now, and hope they keep having me me with a good balance in my life.