AUSTIN (KXAN) - Competitors from throughout the state will showcase their best posture and flexibility during a regional yoga competition this weekend in Austin.
One of the world's foremost yoga experts and founder of USA Yoga Federation Rajashree Choudhury stopped by KXAN News Today to talk about the Regional Yoga Asana Championship, happening Sunday at the Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
The federation is making strides to become the national governing body of yoga and hopes to qualify the popular practice as the next Olympic sport.
Competitors this weekend will test their abilities with five compulsory and two advanced postures to determine the adult male, female and youth participants who will advance to compete in the National Yoga Asana Championship in March 2013.
With all styles of yoga welcomed, competitors are judged on several factors:
- the technical execution of each pose
- its level of difficulty
- their poise and composure
- the grace of movement both into and out of the posture
More about USA Yoga
While a fairly new concept in the United States, yoga competitions have been a long-standing tradition in the discipline's founding country of India for hundreds of years and promote dedicated yogis to be their physical, emotional and mental best.
For the participants, these competitions are an opportunity and challenge to improve their skills. And for the rest of the community, it's a way to learn and experience how yoga and its regular practice can allow anyone to be a healthier, happier person.
"With the spirit of yoga rooted deeply in camaraderie and fellowship, it's refreshing to see yogis in so many categories come together to achieve such a monumental feat," explained Choudhury. "To excel at yoga, one requires deep reflection, self-acceptance and the desire to grow as an individual … none of which are qualities that are lost in a competitive setting."
A nonprofit organization, USA Yoga was formed to increase awareness of the sport of Yoga Asana among existing practitioners, as well as to inspire others to join.
With the belief that the practice of yoga is beneficial for the physical and mental health of those involved, USA Yoga hopes to encourage children, adults and seniors to sharpen their skills and knowledge through training, dedication and devotion.
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