Yoga competition ‘to determine who demonstrates a posture best’
Even though yoga is a highly independent and personal practice for most fans, a new book has shed light on the emerging world of the yoga competition.
Though it may sound like an oxymoron, author Benjamin Lorr says that the concept is not an impossible one, and is simply a system for determining who was demonstrating a posture best.
In an article for The Daily Beast about his new book, ‘Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga’, Lorr explains that winning is not the goal as much as allowing others to inspire us to our best.
Indeed, at the yoga competitions that have been cropping up across the U.S., the atmosphere is not one of a typical contest, the Daily Mail reported.
As one might in another sporting event, each competitor is awarded points according to the difficulty of the pose they choose and the skill with which they execute it.
What is unique to yoga is the fact that judges also take into account “the degree to which it is instructive about human potential, destructive to preconceived notions, and indicative of mental-physical alignment.”
According to Lorr, the champion is almost elected rather than a winner – an acknowledgement that he or she best represents the excellence in the room.
Lorr, who himself discovered yoga four years ago when he stumbled into a Bikram studio, described how he became hooked on the practice and fascinated by the U.S.-based guru, Bikram Choudhury, who came up with the hot yoga concept.
The yoga competition has existed in India for decades though, a practice endorsed by the most traditional and legendary of yoga teachers, BKS Iyengar.
According to Lorr, Iyengar has even made notes on how competition participants should be judged.