The Derby Dish-A meal served hard

By the age of 10 most junior skaters are tired of Level 1 rules and are ready for the big hits.  At this age  girls are often bigger and tougher than boys and demand the right to play their own full contact sport. Just like the adults, the junior “punks” or “brats” practice all the strategies and like the “swoop” and “booty block.” Here Slugs and Hisses pack it up to dish derby, the moves, the workouts and all the derby little secrets.


Ohmmm...Yoga is good for derby.

Whether you're into Power or Bikram, it's a fact that yoga is good for roller derby.  With all the hitting, falling, stressing and core work out of playing roller derby, yoga can help stretch, strengthen, and lengthen muscles and sore tendons.  The calm and breathing work in yoga can help with the meditative visioning sports athletes do today as well.   There are a gazillion types of yoga.  Here's a little cheat sheet if you think you are ready to try it out.

Ananda Yoga: Ananda Yoga classes focus on gentle postures designed to move the energy up to the brain and prepare the body for meditation.

Anusara Yoga is a relatively new form of yoga (1997), which pairs strict principles of alignment with a playful spirit.

Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga is the name given to the system of yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga is physically demanding as it involves synchronizing breathing with progressive and continuous series of postures.

Bikram Yoga is the method of yoga that is a comprehensive workout that includes all the components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss. Good for derby. The founder, Bikram Choudhury, was a gold medal Olympic weight lifter in 1963 and is a disciple of

Hatha is an easy-to-learn basic form of yoga that has become very popular in the United States.

Integral Yoga: This traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing exercises, selfless service, meditation, chanting, prayer, and self-inquiry.

ISHTA: Developed by South African teacher Mani Finger and popularized in the States by his son Alan, ISHTA (Integral Science of Hatha and Tantric Arts) focuses on opening energy channels throughout the body with postures, visualizations, and meditation.

Iyengar Yoga, developed by yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar more than 60 years ago, promotes strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance through coordinated breathing and poses that require precise body alignment.

Jivamukti Yoga: Developed in 1986 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, the Jivamukti Yoga method expresses the spiritual and ethical aspects of the practice of yoga that have been disregarded or devalued in contemporary times.

Kali Ray TriYoga: A series of flowing, dancelike movements was developed by Kali Ray in 1980. The practice also incorporates pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.

Kripalu is called the yoga of consciousness. This gentle, introspective practice urges practitioners to hold poses to explore and release emotional and spiritual blockages.

Kundalini practice concentrates on awakening the energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upward. In addition to postures, a typical class will also include chanting, meditation, and breathing exercises.

Power Yoga is essentially yoga with brawn. It's the American interpretation of ashtanga yoga, a discipline that combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing.

Restorative Yoga: In a restorative yoga class you'll spend long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters - passively allowing muscles to relax.

Sivananda Yoga: Like Integral Yoga, this traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing, dietary restrictions, chanting, scriptural study, and meditation.

Svaroopa Yoga: New students find this a very approachable style, often beginning in chair poses that are comfortable. Promotes healing and transformation.

Viniyoga: This is commonly used as a therapeutic practice for people who have suffered injuries or are recovering from surgery. It is a gentle, healing practice that is tailored to each person's body type and needs as they grow and change. 

Vinyasa: Focuses on coordination of breath and movement and it is a very physically active form of yoga. It began with Krishnamacharya who later passed it on to Pattabhi Jois.

White Lotus Yoga: A modified Ashtanga practice developed by Ganga White which is combined with breathwork and meditation.


Note about Hurricane Sandy--don't skate in the rain

Rule #1: Never, ever, ever roller skate in a hurricane.

Rule #2: Never, ever, ever roller skate in the rain.


Roller skating on wet cement is like ice skating without the edges.  Then you'll ruin your bearings.   You may likely get a concussion.

This has been a public service announcement.


When to Get New Skates

If you saw Undertaker's Daughter's skates on the news post you know she waited WAY too long to get new skates.  When is the right time?  As a general rule if your skates are still comfortable and not falling apart there is really no reason to get new ones.  If you really love your boots you can alway upgrade by getting new plates, wheels and bearings.  I recently moved to slim wheels and it really helped my agility.  Also, I followed Undertaker's Daughter and bought the alluminum alloy DA45 degree Avenger plates, and I can't believe how much more agile I am.  Of course, they are forward mounted so if you skate back on your heels you will definitely fall backwards a bunch. Trust me.


Inline to Quad and Back Again.

 If you like to switch between your quad roller skates and your inline roller blades, watch out.  If you've been skating on one over the other for any length of time, you will be likely to fall down when you switch over. For example, if you've been roller skating and want to use your blades, there is no question you will try to stop with your toe and stumble forward.  You may very well fall down.  If you are going from blades to 4-wheel quad skates, I have no doubt you will try to stop with a brake this does not exist at one of your heels.  You really only need one or two near misses to remember. I like to repeat to myself over and over again, "Stop with your [insert type of brake here]!"  Sometimes it even works.


If You're Hot. 

If it's hot and you're hot, but not in a good way, consider drinking more refreshing water.  Roller derby is hard exercise, and it's easy to get dehydrated, especially if the temps are inching up. Experts say you don't need water if you are exercising for under an hour, but, let's face it, roller derby is not your average exercise.  Also, if you work out an hour or less, plain old water is great.  If you are exercising over an hour, you can consider Gatorade or the other electrolyte replacing bevies. In fact, you should be drinking 64 ounces of water, even without exercise.  I keep an environmentally friendly bottle (that Gigi gave me cuz she knows my deal) with me at all times. Gross as it is, if your pee is dark yellow or brown, you need water, baby. Just sayin.  Don’t I sound smart?