Figure skaters wanting to succeed inevitably look for off-ice training classes—conditioning, ballet, plyometrics, vestibular training, nutrition, etc. Yoga is also a part of this--often thought of as a physical form of off-ice training.
Indeed, the physical practice of yoga can be very helpful for figure skating success. Asana (yoga postures) helps build strength, flexibility, awareness, and balance, and through their coordination with the breath, it improves our stress response and helps recalibrate the nervous system.
A yoga practice tailored specifically to figure skaters can inform a skater’s development, bring balance to the muscles, and develop stamina by teaching breathing techniques.
Author // the skating yogi
My name is Sarah Neal. I have been immersed in the world of figure skating for over four decades. I have seen firsthand the abuse that happens at the higher levels of our sport and experienced how that trickles down into unhealthy training practices and habits at the grassroots. I have seen this play out in the operations of the very institutions that control our sport. Whether for a profession or hobby, pursuing skating should be a joyful, rewarding process, an opportunity for athletic and personal growth, and a place to build lasting friendships.