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“Mobile Yoga” as a concept is showing the complimentary aspects of yoga and skating.

Mobile Yoga as a lifestyle? Well, that would describe mine.

In 2017, skating kept me “flying” around rinks in Cleveland and over 80000 miles in the air from the beaches of LA to the mountainous regions of China. While yoga continued to serve as an anchor to good health, inner peace and the cultivation of present moment awareness. Skating and Yoga, two aspects of my personal and “work” life certainly continued to serve me well in 2017.  It is hard to believe that at 50 years old I have managed to cultivate such a physically active, mentally stimulating, and emotionally rewarding life. Thanks to the support of my husband Greg and my children-who lovingly chide me as “the absentee mother,” I am truly blessed and my life filled with so much love and happiness.

Let’s take a look at a “Mobile Yoga Year in Pictures”.

January 9-17 Beijing, China/Seoul Korea  Sled Dogs Snowskates

 

January 18-May 5 Cleveland , Ohio  Spring Semester Cleveland State University

 CSU Shavasana Spring 2017

January 26-31 Los Angles, CA .  Rollerblade Workouts & Tips for Beginners 2 Videos

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 11.01.54 AM

February 2-5 Miami, FL   Skater Migration Event

February 20 New York City Visit Friends & Catch a Show

NYC Blue Man Group Kris Jade 2017

April 8 & 9 New York City   Saturday Night Live

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 10.37.51 AM.png

May 5-12 Venice, Italy     Rollerblade International Sales Meeting

B Annual Sales Meeting

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Chongqing/Hanzhou/Shanghai China  Inline Certification Program

Chongching L1 & L2 2017

June 1- 3 New York City Parkinson’s Foundation & Columbia University Reunion

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 10.44.28 AM

June 9-11 Snowshoe, West Virginia      Wanderlust 

Wanderlust Kris & Tree 2017

June 12-July 0 Cleveland, OH   Cleveland State University Summer Research Inline Skating Study

July 1 Cleveland, OH     Kris’ 50th Birthday Extravaganza

July 2-July 19th  Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria  European Vacation

August 11-15 Madrid, Spain  ICP Level 2/Level 3 & Sled Dogs Snowskates

August-December CSU Fall Semester

CSU Lord Shiva

September-present  Cleveland Area, OH  Learn to Play & Technique/Power Sessions

October 12 Chagrin Falls, OH  The Pond- Teaching to Be Teachers Seminar

The Pond LTS Program

December 7-17 China/Korea  Sled Dogs Snowskates

December 18-20 Los Angeles, CA  Visit Friends 

Santa Monica Kris & Jade 2017.jpg

End of the trail indeed!

Kris’s Mobile Year in Review…..The End.

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Rollerblade's ABT

Click To Start Rollerblade ABT Video

In my 20+ years teaching skating, I have taught 1000’s of people how to skate or how to skate better.

When meeting new skaters, or listening to the reasons why a relatively experienced skater is hesitant to skate more often, I have noticed a common theme:

Lack of Confidence:  People want to feel more confident while on their skates.

Being able to control your speed and stop in a variety of settings and various surfaces is the basis of a safe and enjoyable skating experience. It is the foundation of what keeps people skating.   Being able to skate when I want, and wherever I want is what motivates ME to skate.

The Macroblade ABT is perfect for the skater that needs a little confidence booster.  The Active Brake Technology allows the skater to have all 8 wheels on the skating surface, which provides the stability and control that they are looking for in their skating experience.

Personally having skated in the Macroblade 80 ABT (Pictured below) since Rollerblade’s International Sales Meeting last year. I have found that the brake does not get in the way of my skating at all, which is a common concern for some skaters, and have been able turn and maneuver in variety of situations with ease. It truly feels like an extension of my foot.

Women's Macroblade 80 ABT

2017 Women’s Macroblade 80 ABT

For those new to the sport, the ABT is the perfect tool to speed up their learning curve giving them the confidence and motivation to skate more often and for longer periods of time.

This is something that I believe we can all agree upon is important for the growth of our sport:

More people skating confidently, More people skating for longer periods of time. More people skating.  PERIOD.

For additional information on the Macroblade ABT,  skating  videos, skating advice and more check out http://www.rollerblade.com

MAcroblade 80 ABT Mens

2017 Men’s Macroblade 80 ABT

Change Chinese Characher

This is the time of the year for “grand proclamations” of change.

The reality, however, is that there is no need to wait until the New Year. While is does provide a somewhat ceremonious starting point, we can make a change in every moment, every second of our lives.   The opportunity to change the way we think, speak and act lies in our ability to be the “witness”, the “observer”.   The “witness” is the part of us that “knows we know.” It is awareness and our best teacher. It is the ability to “watch” our actions, reactions and  personality manifest in relation to the world around us.

Examples of opportunities to develop the “witness”:

  • When saying “I told you so” to a loved one or friend when they didn’t follow our advice, is replaced by either a heart felt condolence or by saying nothing at all.
  • Noticing the space between hearing the voice inside remind us that we do not “need” that 3rd piece of pizza, no matter how tasty, and NOT taking that third piece.
  • It is the ability to let go of a repetitive, unserving thought that causes depression or anxiety,  and choosing to replace it with one that is neutral or maybe even joyful.
  • Being “cut off” by a car on a highway and instead of condemning the driver, bless them and wish for their safe arrival wherever they may be going.

Change Sign

Changing patterns of thoughts and behavior through developing the ability to witness takes vigilance and continual practice.   According to the teachings of Swami Satyananda in the Bihar School of Yoga, it is believed that one of the best ways to develop the ability to “witness” is through Karma Yoga. In  “Yoga Vision” on the Bihar School of Yoga website, Karma Yoga is referred to as “a system which develops immunity to the reactive and negative components of an action. “Swami Niranjanananda has said  that “Through karma yoga we are able to understand our own life, improve the quality of life and transcend life.”

Karma Yoga is the yoga of action and is often referred to as “selfless service.”  While all work we do, and actions that we perform, can potentially be labeled as Karma Yoga, it is easiest to begin with duties in which we literally and figuratively have little or no attachment.  Karma Yoga  is then working without worrying about the “fruits of the labor” or even completing the task.  In Karma Yoga it is actually okay “not” to finish what you are working and to allow your effort and whatever outcome or consequences to be “good enough.”  The idea is to notice the thoughts, etc. that arise before, during or after the  experience.

Karma Yoga provides a wonderful platform to change hard-wired patterns of thoughts and behaviors, positively altering our personality, relationships and lives over a period of time.  So if you have made your grand proclamation for change in 2017 don’t forget to leave space for the “witness”.  In the words of Michael Jackson:

“If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change”

~Man in the Mirror

seasons_people_change_autumn

Swami Words of Wisdom

By Swami Sivanananda Saraswati

You can have calmness of mind at all times by the practice of yoga.

You can have restful sleep.
You can have increased energy,
vigor, vitality, longevity, and
a high standard of health.
You can turn out efficient work
within a short period of time.
You can have success
in every walk of life.

Asana, Pranayama, Meditation

Medical research is beginning to catch up to what the ancient yogis have known for years: the mind and body are connected. Once thought of as separate entities, it is becoming increasing apparent that when the health of one is down, the other is affected.

How many of us have not experienced a bad cold during a time when we were under a tremendous amount of mental stress?  Or heard a story of recovery against all odds linked to a positive outlook?  The connection may be intellectually easy to understand, but the cause and effect in our personal experience is usually where the “disconnect” occurs. Unfortunately, it is only after we are suffering the physical effects of chronic stress and anxiety such as hypertension, digestive issues or respiratory disorders that we begin to wonder “how did I get here?”

Yoga masters like Swami Sivananda believe, however, that through a regular yoga practice that the mind and body can be synchronized. Yoga provides the tools and platform to promote and develop the mind/body connection and the result is a balanced and creative life, full of good health and happiness.

   5 Ways Yoga Can Facilitate the Mind/Body Connection

1.    Stress Reduction – Yoga poses bring us into our body by bring awareness to the posture, relaxing or stretching the muscles and connecting us to our breath which inducing a variety of stress releasing benefits.  Lower heart rate and blood pressure and improved digestive function are just a few stress-reducing benefits of a regular yoga practice.

2.    More Energy – When we move our body through various yoga postures we stimulate blood flow, increase respiration, and release energy blockages in the body, thus improving our energy level.  An object in motion likes to stay in motion and yoga can stimulate our physical energy levels long after class is over.

3.    Induces Sleep – It may seem counterintuitive given the previous entry, but a regular yoga practice can actually improve sleep. While certain practices like Sun Salutation are inherently energizing, Child’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Plow Pose and Shavasana, coupled with slow deep breathing, can relax the body and turn the mind inward, setting the tone for a blissful night’s rest.

4.    Alters Mood – Feeling sad or a little depressed?  Need to focus before a big test or presentation?  There is a yoga posture for that!  Backward bending postures and extensions are stimulating as they usually open both the chest and heart and increase our receptivity to others, as well as our communication skills.  On the flip side, forward bending postures tend to be more introverting, bringing us inward and quieting the mind.  Balance postures, like tree pose, not only improve our physical balance, but can balance our energy as well. So if you are feeling “off balance,” get back in balance with a few yoga postures.

5.  Increases both Physical & Mental Flexibility – Every mental tension has a corresponding physical tension. The physical manifestation of mental or emotional stress can show up as a disturbance in sleep patterns, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, muscular aches or pains among other disorders.  The initial object of yoga postures therefore is to release these tensions.  Yoga postures act to release mental tensions on a somatic or physical level. Depending on the physical symptoms, a well-chosen set of yoga postures can help to lessen the effects of mental stress and strain eliminating the physical manifestation of the mental stressor, at least temporarily. As the body relaxes, so does the mind.

With hundreds of yoga postures and movements, breathing practices and meditations to choose from there is something for EVERY BODY.  Give the power of yoga a chance to be the conduit between your mind and body. A more calm, rested, energized you is all you have to lose.

A few years ago I wrote the following tips for the  Rollerblade International website.  With the latest update to their site I can’t seem to find it. As we move into outdoor skating weather here in the northern hemisphere I  thought it worth reposting here with a few changes and additions.

KrisBench2

Quick Tips For A Great Skate

The following is some basic information about the benefits of inline skating and a few quick tips to help you make the most of your skating experience:

Skating to Get Fit or Stay Fit    Skating for fitness is the reason why many people choose to skate.  Which, by the way, is a really great reason!  Skating is a full-body, easy-on-the-joints workout that can improve cardiovascular respiratory function, muscle strength and endurance and body composition. Skating takes us out of the fitness center and allows us to move freely into beautiful (think parks) or exciting (think city/urban) outdoor settings.

A Good Pair of Skates  To start your training you will need a good pair of skates. When it comes to skates, for the most part, “you get what you pay for” and it is best to find a pair that fit properly and are of high quality. For just starting out I suggest the Rollerblade Macroblade or Zetrablade for adults and Spitfire Cube for kids.

Mastering the Basics  The success of any fitness routine is based on one’s ability to carry it out. So where do you start?  Mastering some of the basics of moving, stopping, and turning will give you the confidence to take your skating to the parks and streets where you can skate for longer periods of time improving your level of fitness.

Slowly building your confidence in negotiating your surroundings while on skates will help ensure that your time on skates is safe and enjoyable. 

Basic Forward Skating   Are you doing the “moon walk” when trying to skate? If so, to keep all eight wheels in contact with the skating surface, push down on the inside edges and through to the heels of the skates. The added pressure will help keep the wheels on the ground throughout the stroke and allow for a more powerful push.

Also remember, “Knee bend is your friend.” Soft knees are more forgiving then locked knees while skating.  For better balance, power and maneuverability keep the knees slightly bent while skating. Striding Stage 1, Striding Stage 2

Improve Skating Technique   Are you already comfortable on your skates but just aren’t feeling the rhythm and flow that you see in other more accomplished skaters?  You can attain that look of effortlessness that you are envying, you really can!  It is just about proper skating technique and more time on your skates.

Looking like a “pro” will take some time, but you can make some immediate changes to your technique that will improve your efficiency, rhythm and overall flow.  The following are just a few basic suggestions:

  • Too increase the power of stroke and the length of your stride lower your skating stance.  The deeper the knee bend the more power in the push.  Increasing knee bend will result in a more powerful stroke, which in turn, will increase the length and efficiency of the stride.
  • Are you pushing equally with both legs?  Most people don’t and even the most proficient skating athlete can tell you his or her “weak” side.   Try this simple drill below to improve skating posture and stride technique for a more powerful stroke and more balanced stride.
1 Leg Drill

1 Leg Squat Push

One leg Squat Push

Purpose:  Improves strength, balance and stride technique

  1. Begin with the skates together and the hands on one knee in a low squat position.
  2. Push one skate out to the side until fully extended
  3. Lift the leg off the ground and regroup the skates under the body.
  4. Repeat a minimum of 10 times on each side.

Added Balance Challenge:  Hold the toe to the heel for a count of 1-3 before the next stroke.

Learn to Control Your Speed   The importance of knowing how to control your speed, avoiding dangerous situations, and being able to come to a complete and controlled stop cannot be emphasized enough.  Through the years I have heard many unfortunate stories of people’s “first and last time” skating.  While the story settings change they always seem to end the same, “if I only knew how to stop.”

Brake vs. No Brake  If you are a beginner to intermediate level skater it is highly suggested that your skates have a brake attached-at least in the beginning.   If they do not (look in the box, it should be there), you may want to see if you can get one for your skates. Personally, I am most comfortable skating with a brake attached to my skate- especially when skating in an urban, or unfamiliar setting.   But of course, this choice is ultimately up to you.

Using Your Brake  Most new skates come with the brake already attached to the right  skate.  If you feel uncomfortable performing the Heel Brake Stop with your right leg remember that the brake can be switched to the left skate by using an Allen Wrench. Please be aware, however, that some older models skates have a brake that cannot be changed to the left side.

If you are uncertain if you should switch your brake to the left skate try answering the following questions:  Do you feel that you would naturally put out your left skate?  Would you kick a soccer ball into score a goal using your left foot?  If you stood in front of a step, would you use your left foot first to go up?  If you answered yes to anyone of these, you might want to try changing the brake.

For better balance as a beginner skater, it is best to keep your arms still and hands comfortably in front of the body.  This will help keep your upper body “quiet” as you focus on what needs to be done by the lower body to stop.  To master the mechanics of the stop be sure to practice all steps from a stationary position, and then repeatedly, while moving.

Grass or Emergency Stop  If you do encounter a situation that you think is “unskatable,” such as a very steep decline, remember you can always leave the skating surface by performing a Grass Stop.  A “grass stop” or “emergency stop” is done by scissoring forward the skate that is nearest to the grass, and shifting the weight to the back leg once the front leg crosses comes in contact with the new surface.

Planning your skate   If you are a new to skating outdoors it is best to bike or walk a potential route prior to skating it.  Being aware of challenging surfaces such as hills, gravel, bricks, rough surfaces etc. will allow you to adjust your skating technique or change your route altogether.

Avoiding Obstacles  The scissor stance with the weight on the back leg, which was covered in “Grass Stop” above, will generally work with most road obstacles that cannot be avoided such as water, oil, gravel and twigs.  Just remember that if going through water it is best not to push, as your wheels will slide. If you are lucky enough to be skating at the beach and you need to “bail out” in the sand, remember that your wheels will not roll through sand so it is best to pick up your feet and run to a stop.

If your skates have come into contact with water, oil or sand, please take the time to clean your wheels and bearings before your next skate to ensure that they do not rust and remain in good working order.

Getting Out There-Where to Skate   Your wheels were made to roll so provided you are familiar with the basics let’s get moving!  Skating can be done in a variety of locations.  A park trail or path along side the beach can provide a safe, smooth and predicable course that will allow you to concentrate on your technique while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  But if that kind of skate isn’t available to you, why not skate where you are?

Singapore Night Skate

Singapore Night Skate

City or Urban Skate One reason runners love to run is because it is easy. Just put on the running shoes and out the door you go! Minimal prep and travel time and maximal satisfaction knowing that your workout is a door step away. Skating can also be that simple.  It really can be.  Provided you are comfortable with the controlling your speed and stopping city or urban skating is a great way to explore your surroundings.

Anticipation  After skating forward and stopping, “anticipation” is a skill that needs to be practiced and mastered for a safe and enjoyable city skate. Unlike skating on a trail, the course and terrain is anything but predictable. Negotiating rough patches of sidewalk, around pedestrians, hopping up and down street curbs, navigating around parked and   moving cars and over bumps, takes some skill.

Avoid Possible Hazardous Situations   First, avoid possible hazardous situations by learning to anticipate them.  Pay attention to what is going on in front of you.  Scan the area for pedestrians stepping off curbs or cares making a turn in front of you.  Most hazardous situations on a city skate can be avoided if you stay alert and predict the likelihood of their occurrence.

Use “Timing” to Avoid Braking.  Instead of skating at a steady pace, the pace is adjusted to accommodate the environment. For example; Instead of traveling up to a target to be passed and applying a brake, look ahead as far as a few hundred yards. Anticipating the optimal point of passing, you can adjust your speed to improve your timing.

Big City Skating Some of the best skating experiences of my life were smack dab in the middle of a big city.  New York, Paris, Miami, Singapore, Munich, etc. present an amazing backdrop and an exhilarating ride!

Skating on sidewalks and where safe and legal, in the street, allows you to interact with the city in a way that walking, running and driving just doesn’t. I can honestly say that when I have started to skate from the doorstep of my house, or if on vacation from my hotel, I have rarely, if ever, been disappointed. If you are visiting a city for the first time or want to see your own from a new perspective, an urban or city skate is the way to go.  A unique and satisfying experience is right outside your door.

Quick Tip Recap   Skating is a full-body, easy-on-the-joints workout that can improve cardiovascular respiratory function, muscle strength and endurance and body composition. Take the time to become familiar with the basics of moving and controlling your speed and you will be amazed by how much fun a great workout can be!

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