March 2, 2012

Yoga Asana Championships? Say What?

(Photo: Youtube)

Is Yoga Non-Competitive?

Yoga is not competitive. I’m sure you’ve heard your teacher say this at one point or another, and I’m sure you’ve read it online, in brochures, on flyers. But, is it really? I bet you didn’t know there’s a Yoga Asana Championship competition coming up this weekend in New York.

First off, there’s a United States Yoga Federation

Yes, there sure is. USA Yoga is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of developing and promoting Yoga Asana (yoga postures) as a sport, and they are hosting the 2012 Yoga Asana Championships this weekend. Check out USA Yoga here:


Kelsea Bangora, who will be representing New York and is last year’s returning champion, is getting ready for the weekend to come. An excerpt from The New York Times published March 1, 2012:

For Kelsea Bangora, New York’s 2011 yoga asana champion, the conversation usually goes like this:

“Yoga champion? How does that work?”

“Well, it’s like a dance performance, sort of, or a gymnastics routine, but not really.”

“So, can you touch your head with your feet?”

“Well, of course”

Typically, she does not demonstrate.

“I don’t want to show off,” she said. “I mean, my own students don’t even know I’m a champion.”

Kelly at the 2011 Yoga Asana Finals:

According to Manhattan local news, competitors at this year’s event will have three minutes to complete seven poses — five mandated by the competition and two the contestants choose themselves. Each pose earns a possible high score of 10, with judges adding or subtracting points in categories as specific as locked knees and tremors, to confidence and glamour.

What do you think?

Should there be points for grace?

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Read 33 comments and reply

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Tanya Lee Markul  |  Contribution: 15,600