Nevada Regional Yoga Asana Championships

Last weekend I attended the 2011 Nevada Regional Yoga Asana Championships in Reno, hosted by Bikram Yoga Sierra. I remember snickering the first time someone mentioned "yoga" and "championship" in the same sentence. How could these two words fit together? To me, yoga was a sacred, internal experience, why would anyone go and ruin this concept with a competition?

It took me a couple years and an open mind to see the bigger picture and what it could all mean. Nevertheless, if I wasn't convinced before, after going to the Nevada Regional Yoga Asana Championships I have now been converted. Competition or championship doesn't seem sum up what this experience is truly about. Some people call it a demonstration, but to me it is more like going to watch a group of souls offering the story of their bodies up in prayer.

Represented at the competition were all different ages, genders, body types, and abilities. And I wouldn't say perfection of a particular asana (pose) was the most inspiring aspect of the event, but rather being able to witness each person's path to personal excellence and knowing it is changing in every second. I think this may be one of the closest experiences to seeing humans model both the strength of lion and the fragility of a butterfly all at once. I couldn't help but delight in each unpredictable moment.

Not only was it a spectacular experience to watch, but I realized how much closer I felt to the greater yoga community. I saw how supporting yoga on a larger scale through competition could inspire people to care for their bodies and their emotional well-being. The ultimate goal is to raise yoga consciousness to the level that it will be a part of the Olympic games some day. Not as a means for self-approval and to take home a gold medal, but to inspire kids to want to take care of their bodies through yoga. Not such a silly notion since it was Bruce Jenner's display at the 1976 Olympics that got me into running and joining the track team when I was a kid.

What would life be like if millions of kids were inspired by yoga at the Olympic games to change the state of their bodies, minds, and souls?

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting. I never knew such a thing existed. I can imagine it being a pretty amazing thing to witness.


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