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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Mobile Yoga, the latest yoga hybrid which fuses together yoga and inline skating. I had actually been approached by a publicist at a PR company about the new style and I couldn’t resist questioning the validity of this hybrid (and, looking at the comments on that post, it seems that many yogis were unconvinced as well). After the post went up, the publicist contacted me again and offered an interview with Kris Fondran, the founder of Mobile Yoga. Of course, I had to take this opportunity to ask her all my burning questions, which she so generously responded to.
From what I understand from your bio, you have a long and deep relationship with yoga, having trained in the Satyananda tradition and received mantra initiation. Do you feel that the practice is compromised by blending it with another form of physical exercise? And what do your teachers think about this?
On the surface, Mobile Yoga looks like anything but a traditional yoga practice. However, through my studies and experiences I have found that to be a true practitioner of yoga you need to take what you are doing on the mat off into the world. Since much of my “world” is made up of skating it was not difficult for me to recognize and assimilate yoga elements while skating or teaching skating.
The traditional approach to yoga helps us manage our lives and can inspire many different activities. The Mobile Yoga concept will hopefully attract some people to explore yoga that might otherwise be put off by the classical yogic concepts of linking breath to movement and doing meditation. In turn it may also bring others to skating because they are looking for a way to improve their overall cardiovascular health in a way that is gentle on the body.
I came to yoga to learn stress reduction techniques and to improve my overall physical flexibility. Through study and practice, I have not only managed to reduce the amount of stressors in my life and improve the condition of my physical body, I also managed to enhance my skating ability as well.
Being yoga purists so–to–speak, my teachers are a bit skeptical of many of the “fusion” practices out there as the connection between yoga and whatever activity, seem to be quite weak. However, as long as my teachers have known me they have known me as a skater who has found ways to bring my understanding of yoga to other skaters. Sometimes it is important to meet people where they are and to provide them with techniques and choices that will bring awareness and balance into exploration of fitness in unsuspecting ways. This is the inspiration for Mobile Yoga.
At first glance, it appears that Mobile Yoga was the product of Rollerblade marketing efforts – but the publicist told me that you actually approached Rollerblade with the idea. What inspired you to do that?
My experience teaching a variety of health, wellness, and teacher education classes at Cleveland State University has exposed me to hundreds of students who are seeking ways to improve their physical health and reduce stress in their increasingly time-challenged lives. My recommendation has always been “more skating, more yoga,” so you could say my students were the inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a new yoga hybrid about to hit the streets: Mobile Yoga. The art of doing yoga postures while inline skating. The Rollerblade brand is stepping out of the 90s and updating its image – by aligning with yoga! It’s so hip, so cool, so now, that perhaps some of that coolness will rub off on lame old inline skating.
YogaDork reported mumblings about the hybrid way back in July, and it looks like Rollerblade has finally got Mobile Yoga ready for the world. The website will launch on April 1. I know I sure can’t wait to see blissed out inline skaters rocking the Warrior pose on the streets of Montréal.
This is one hybrid that I’ll be avoiding. Aside from the fact no amount of association with yoga will make me think inline skating is cool, I also have no interest in doing yoga poses while moving. What about the rest of you? Or do you think this might just be the lamest yoga hybrid yet?
So you think putting your leg behind your head or balancing on your hands isn’t extreme enough? Try doing it on a BMX bike! Every six months or so, some flexible adrenaline junkie surfaces and catches the attention of the inter/national media. Last year, it was that slacker guy who could sit in lotus pose on a tightrope (via this Wall Street Journal article).
This week, it’s Khiv Raj Gurjar, a 61-year-old yogi/bodybuilder/cyclist/adventure addict who lives in India. Every morning at dawn, he rides his BMX bike to a rocky outcrop near his home and does these yoga-esque poses on his bike near the edge of the cliff.
A student of yoga since the age of 13 and a keen sportsman, Khiv has combined his other great love, cycling, to create his new and extreme form.
‘From my childhood I was passionate to do things which are extraordinary and look very dangerous,’ says Khiv.
‘I tried magic, learned acrobatics, yoga, did cycling, played football.
‘As I grew into my twenties I found combining yoga and cycling stunts would be something very unconventional, but also deeply challenging.’ [via the Daily Mail UK]