Yogis in the house, tell the truth. You may be used to sweating and breathing up close and personal next to a hundred fellow yogis on their sticky mats. But how about a string of 150-200 yogis, one yogi at a time, and 1500 onlookers?
Most yoga studios have a special energy. The OM and Namaste signs next to Buddha or Krishna images along with the smell of incense adds to the right vibe. So when hundreds of yogis convene in the Alamo City, there’s got to be some South Texas flavor.
The Historic Aztec Theatre on the River Walk in San Antonio will be transformed into an energetic welcome mat for yogis from across the country, March 14-16. South Texans will have a unique opportunity to see some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S. show off their forward folds, back bends and arm balances at the 11th National USA Yoga Asana Championship.
While yoga is a personal practice, asana (posture) competitions originated in India hundreds of years ago, and are still being conducted there today. Now, you don’t need to travel to India, though, to see the most dedicated yogis showcase their strength and flexibility.
Representing 36 states, more than 150 participants, who advance from one of 21 U.S. regional competitions compete to determine the nation’s adult male, adult female, senior male, senior female and youth champions.
Several of the competitors are South Texans, including two San Antonio-based bikram yoga instructors, and competing for the senior division female championship is an Austinite.
According to the most recent study by Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association, 20.4 million people practice (hatha) yoga in the U.S. today. That figure is particularly impressive considering that while yoga is thousands of years old it wasn’t really until Swami Vivekananda went to Chicago for the Columbian Exposition in 1893 that yoga was introduced to America.
The National Championships, coordinated by USA Yoga, traditionally draw a crowd of 1,500 people, with a total audience of 30,000 via live streaming.
USA Yoga is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of developing and promoting Yoga Asana as a sport. To allow the necessary skills to be understood and mastered by competitors, coaches, judges, administrators and yoga studio operators, USA Yoga introduced educational programs, rules and regulations. USA Yoga sponsors and promotes an annual Regional and National Yoga asana Championship.
For more information, visit http://www.usayoga.org/about-us, facebook.com/usayoga, twitter.com/usayoga or view some of the competitors at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBPToGu9Odw.