This may sound like a bit of a contradiction in terms, but organisers insist that it is not.
This association has been around since the early 2000’s, and is called the Yoga Sports Association Australia (YSAA) and they aim to become the National governing body for the sport and to join other similar organisations overseas to form an International Yoga Federation and then to qualify Yoga Asana as an Olympic sport.
As last years Australian champion said “it’s not a typical western competition” (there’ll be no leg breaking assaults here, ala Tonya Harding!) – the championships were a display of selfLESSness, humility and grace. The competitors have seven minutes to perform 7 asanas, which are then ‘judged’ and points awarded – but not just for the physical attainment of the poses but also qualities such as poise, respect and dignity are taken into account…ummm, perhaps other sports should adapt a similar attitude, in fact why stop there, why not include political parties as well – now that would be interesting!
By all accounts the atmosphere really is quite different at these type events..no jeering parents or fans yelling catcalls at opponents, but rather people actually being inspired and inspiring of others. Interestingly Yoga competition has been around in Yoga’s native India fro decades, even being endorsed by Mr Iyengar himself!
Yoga is a beautiful practice and some of the poses do in fact look like more like Houdini and to be honest most people wouldn’t have a chance in hell of doing them – but that does not matter – Yoga practice is a very personal thing and your reasons for doing may be many, from simply wanting a great stretch class, to having a desire to be more toned or just stronger, to wanting to get in touch with the spiritual mental side of the practice, for the meditation and calming of the mind – because whether you try for this or not, it usually will be a consequence anyway due to the nature of the practice.
What I liked about practicing Yoga myself when I started was the fact that it was essentially the only time in the week that I actually got to be ‘quiet’ – and I loved that!
I think anything that can positively promote Yoga is beneficial – it has sooo many positive aspects to it – not just for fitness or strengthening, but also it can give you a great cardio workout (especially Power Yoga) – this in turn will assist in any weight loss goals you may have.
So, if you haven’t already given it a go – be inspired by these photos, but don’t get put off! You can go at your own pace, and it seriously is not a competition, you will be challenged, but the benefits are great.
Why do you do Yoga?
What is your favourite type?