Special offer: Try the Guru Challenge – advanced arm balances – and Win!

Yoga Today are running a competition which gives you a chance to win 1 year unlimited membership to their service, which includes great online yoga videos. And it’s a fun video to get practice your arm balances, if you’re an advanced student.

This week, Adi challenges us to dissolve our egos and surrender deeper into the beautifully intense world of arm balances. Join her as she shows us how to stand on our own two hands in an advanced, 45 minute Ashtanga practice that culminates in the stunning firefly posture.

How to enter?

1. Take the Guru Challenge Class of the week http://yogatoday.com/videos/953126080
2. Post a comment under the video on our website
3. Post a comment on our Facebook page about what pose(s) you often find challenging (mentally or physically) and why
4. Your name will be entered to win a free membership

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Yogi Lifestyle: Exercises – “Free Yoga Videos, ‘Energy Boosting Backbends’ and More!”

Backbend exercises

New videos on Yoga Today

On deck this week for subscribers is an all-new class covering the basics with Adi – entitled “The Ground Up.” If you’re new to the practice of yoga, this is an excellent place to start. This class will reacquaint you with the relationship of your body in space and make sure you’re set up with a solid foundation.

Free members: in this week’s free class check out some Energy Boosting Backbends with Neesha! This all-levels heart-opening class will show you how to observe and plug into the electrical currents of your body to energize and revitalize!

Wednesday’s Studio Session brings the conclusion of Neesha’s expanded look at the Bird of Paradise pose. Continue to open your shoulders and hips while working your hamstrings at a much more intensive level and pinnacle with this challenging deep one-legged balancing pose.  

Sarah offers no less than 16 Poses to change your life in Friday’s Studio Session.  Incorporating these challenging poses into your regular practice will help move you through your full range of motion. Postures that cleansing your organs and glands will uplift your overall mood!

Sign up for free on Yoga Today!

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

Book: http://www.eventelephant.com/yogachamps

Special Offer: Free Yoga Class – “Online at Yoga Today”

Free yoga videos online

free yoga video online

Yoga Today is a site in the US which has a great selection of yoga videos available online. Free members get a free yoga class that is available for one week only. Paying members get continuous access to a wide range of archived yoga videos in different styles.

It’s a great way to keep practicing when it’s cold outside, or when you have a particular style that you want to practice and not the right class available. It’s a good way for beginners to sample a few different styles and exercises in the comfort and safety of your own home.

For free members: Build Consonance with Power and Grace

This Week’s Free Class is a full-body practice with Sarah that promotes energizing detoxification with a blend Hatha styles.

  • Skill Level: Novice
  • Instructor: Sarah Kline
  • Release date: January 31-February 7, 2011

New class for subscribers this week, Neesha brings Open Hamstrings and Stable Shoulders with a practice that builds on the essentials of Anusara© Yoga, nudging you deeper into backbends, in turn sharpening your insight into the world around and within you.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Visit Yoga Today: www.yogatoday.com