Competitive yoga – an oxymoron?
At each yoga competition, contestants perform a three-minute routine which includes five compulsory poses and two optional ones. Competitors are judged on strength, flexibility, alignment, difficulty of the optional poses, overall demeanour and execution.
The 2009 UK Yoga Champion
Matt Farci, 24, from Richmond, is the current UK champion. A dancer by profession, he has been practicing yoga for three years. He came fifth in the world championships last year, which saw contestants from India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico and the Netherlands compete.
“Yoga is something that suits my needs in terms of maintaining strength and flexibility of both my body and my mind,” says Farci. “Being very physical with my body is something that I’m used to, but it always seems to challenge me and push my body to its extremes, with the postures as well as figuring myself out in the heat of the room. It seemed like a natural progressing to go from class to enter the competition – and a chance to show people what I have been working on.
“After seeing some of the guys at the competition in LA, I became very nervous and had to mentally take a step backwards. I realised that there was no point in comparing myself to the other competitors. The only thing I could do was show the judges what my body could do. I was happy with that.”
How much: £13