Events: Competitions – “UK Yoga Championships 2011”

Competitive yoga – an oxymoron?

Yoga has been competitive in India for hundreds of years and yet many of us in the West still can’t get our heads around yoga being anything else that a personal journey. And yet there is something intrinsically competitive about yoga. When you get on your mat, you want to improve yourself, you want to advance and progress and where there is progression, there is naturally some competition.

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.”

Olympic Yoga 

Bikram Yoga have been fighting for years to get Yoga in to the 2012 Olympics. Strandquist, who ranked third among the men this year, is now campaigning for competitive yoga to be accepted into the 2020 Olympic Games.
Bikram and Co have been working hard to get the Olympics to accept yoga for 2012 however the Olympic committee says that in order to be considered, yoga needs active Federations in 50 countries! So we’re still a long way off it seems.
The logo here belongs to the New York Yoga Olympics competition mentioned on Yoga Dork.
Do you think yoga should be an Olympic sport? Place your vote above!
And if you’re not sure, go along to the UK Yoga Championships! All proceeds from this event go toward sending the UK Champions to the International Finals in the USA in June. So come along and support the UK yoga team!

When: Saturday

Time: 7pm – 10pm
Where: Haverstock School, 24 Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm, NW3 2BQ

How much: £13



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