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September Studio of the Month: Yoga for Skaters

Studio of the Month

Each month, we're featuring a successful studio and their Aerial Yoga Gear.

September’s Studio of the Month is Asphalt Beach Skate Shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Aerial yoga at a skate shop? You read that right! This month, Steve Larios, owner of Asphalt Beach Skate Shop, shares his experience of practicing yoga as a Pro/Elite level speed skater and his inspiration for offering yoga to skaters at his skate shop.

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Asphalt Beach is the largest, most complete skate shop in the southeast United States and one of the top skate shops in the world. Asphalt Beach Skate Shop owner, Steve Larios, began working as a skate instructor for Nashville's seminal skate shop Vertical Inline in 1993. After Vertical left the scene in 1997, Steve taught and managed the skate shop for Cumberland Cycles and established Asphalt Beach Skate School. Asphalt Beach Skate Shop was born in 2001 when Steve purchased the skate business and sold skates inside Cumberland Transit. In 2004, Asphalt Beach moved to 7th Avenue South in downtown Nashville, and in 2008 relocated again to 961 Woodland Street in East Nashville.

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We reached out to Steve Larios to learn more about incorporating aerial yoga with skating at Asphalt Beach Skate Shop:

Could you share a bit of background on your business? Asphalt Beach began as a skate school back in the 90's and, as a skate instructor, I worked with local skate shops until 2001. In 2001, I bought out a failing shop and started as a retail skate business. Since then, Asphalt Beach has become one of the largest brick and mortar skate shops in the US. We have only one location and do no online sales - we build custom skates and attract skaters from around the world. We have a skating track inside the shop where customers can try out skates, and get instruction.

What sparked you to start offering free yoga to skaters? I learned about the value of yoga practice for skaters from World Champion speed skater, Eddy Matzger. As a Pro/Elite level speed skater myself, I incorporated yoga into my training. I am also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist and decided it would be a great service to offer free weekly classes for all types of skaters. We started attracting roller derby and aggressive skaters and teaching them the benefits of yoga practice. A few have gone on to become yoga teachers! We have been offering yoga at AB for over 6 years now.

How did you come up with the idea of offering aerial yoga? I was inspired to look at aerial yoga by Felipa Gaudet, an amazing yoga teacher in Kingston, NY. I attend her flying flow classes whenever I am up there visiting family. I find aerial to be a great extension of traditional yoga practice, allowing for more creativity and deeper stretches. Asphalt Beach happens to be a perfect venue for aerial - with tall open ceilings and exposed girders to hang silks. There are limited aerial options in Nashville right now, so we are really excited to start this here. Skating is all about core strength and balance and aerial compliments that really well.

Do you have a favorite pose and why? My favorite pose is the one that needs the most work. I really like "flying" traditional poses like Side Crow and Flying Lizard. I am still pretty new to aerial, but am really enjoying all the inverted poses, along with crunches, pikes and handstands! I am really excited about the possibilities of aerial practice!

Learn more at asphaltbeach.com and next time you are in Nashville, stop by Asphalt Beach Skate Shop to get your yoga and skating fix!

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