Competitive yoga sounds like an oxymoron.
But it’s a serious sport, one that Angela Patrick, owner of Bikram Yoga in Happy Valley and West Linn, hopes will become as common as diving or skating.
To further that cause, she is hosting for the second time the Oregon Regional Yoga Asana Championship, set for 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Oregon Golf Club, 25700 S.W. Petes Mountain Road, West Linn (www.bikramyogawestlinn.com).
“Competitive yoga does sound like an oxymoron,” Patrick says. “It’s new to us, but has been going on in India for hundreds of years. People demonstrate their strength of body and mind in the competitions. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of hatha yoga so that eventually it will be recognized as an Olympic sport that is judged on the purity of form in motion, much like diving or solo skating.”
There are different styles of hatha yoga including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Bikram.
Competitors need to demonstrate their mastery of physical strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, breath and concentration.
In preparation for the Oregon competition, about 20 dedicated yogis-in-training practiced three times a week in Patrick’s studios, under the careful eyes of Patrick and Sheryl Miyashiro, the manager of the Happy Valley studio, who holds championship titles from both Hawaii and Oregon, and recently placed 13th in the National USA Yoga Championship.
Thirteen of the yogis are from Patrick’s studios.
In last year’s competition, four yogis, coached by Miyashiro at Patrick’s studios, placed first and second in their divisions.
The competition is held on behalf of USA Yoga, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting yoga asana (postures) as a sport. Competitors must perform six postures in a three-minute routine. Continue reading >>