lishevita's blog

Yoga in motion

Not long after I started coaching figure skating in Moscow, Idaho, I signed up for a yoga class at the Moscow Yoga Center This was the first time I ever took an entire series of yoga classes as opposed to just a one off class here or there, and it totally changed the way that I thought about ice skating and has influenced my teaching ever since.

Work with physics, not against it

At first glance, today's title might seem like an obvious bit of advice. In reality, human history is full of us trying to fight physics. Think of the dream to fly, and the many early attempts that were doomed to fatal failure. Or think of the aesthetic idea in many cultures that the harder you make something to do, the more civilized or refined it is.

Books and Skating Stuff

If you'd like to help support this blog, Israeli ice skating, or, you know, just this insane immigrant single mother who lives in a harsh country and teaches for the love of it, then I invite you to visit Two Edges, One Pick Amazon store.

Android in the dark

I was supposed to call someone yesterday, but I didn't get around to it. I figured I'd get to it this morning, but I didn't manage that, either. At last I had a few moments to breathe as I sat down on the train to Tel Aviv. I looked at my phone and realized that I was almost out of battery. Deciding that it wasn't a good idea to use the last of the battery on a phone call that might not last long enough to say anything important, I thought I should send an sms instead. Short, quick, and interruptionless.

But then I stopped myself.

Looking to the future

In the context of jumps and spins, there are two places where you will find yourself looking to the future, and they map onto two places where you should do the same in ordinary life.

Looking to the past

Last time we talked about being always present in the here and now, but sometimes you need to look to the past to know where you are heading next. That's like the lead up to a spin or a jump. Nearly every spin or jump is started from a backwards skating position. Even jumps that actually start forward are often prefixed by skating backwards and then stepping forward to start the jump. In all of those situations, you have at least a moment where you are facing backwards and your view and attention are all on the place where you've just been.

Eyes on the present

Every self-help book and guru out there will tell you something about how you shouldn't focus on the past, how you should plan for the future, but how you should always be in the present. Of course, I have some insights into that, too.

This insight comes from spins and jumps on ice -- really, any rotational move. The lesson is that there is a time to look at the past, a time to look to the future, and a time to keep yourself firmly planted in the present. And the source of the lesson? Head position before, during and after rotation. No, seriously, there's something to this.

Keep your hands out

The third law of ice skating is "Keep your hands out to your sides" (but don't wave them about). That may seem like a strange rule, especially if you see advanced skaters running around with their hands in their pockets, but there's a lot of sense to it.

Sit down!!

OK, so "tomorrow" kind of got stretched out by a few days. Sorry about that! But, at long last, here's the promised post on the second rule of ice skating. (And no, it's not "Don't talk about ice skating." That's something different, entirely.)

The second rule of ice skating is that whichever foot has your weight on it, that knee should be bent. That's a lot of words, but the gist of it is, "Sit down!"

Fantastic Online Fiction

Once upon a time, if you wanted to read a book or a short story by one of your favorite authors, you either had to borrow the book from a library or a friend or else you had to go buy it in a store. The key in any of those options is that you had to be physically in the same place as the book. If you lived in a country where that book hadn't yet been published, you may never get to see it. If the book had gone out of print, it might be very difficult to find a copy of the book. These days, you can read out of print books as well as numerous new works by great authors online.

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