“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Passion for Yoga

If you’ve been visiting my blog then you may already know that I’m a Bikram yoga enthusiast. I’m pretty dedicated to my practice and credit it with helping me to strengthen my body as well as to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m not alone in this regard. Many people tell that Bikram yoga helped them to recover from illness or injury or that it played a significant role in discovering their life’s passion. To understand how this happens, it would be best to see for yourself; however, I will say that what goes on in class is a microcosm of the rest of our lives. We’re encouraged to focus, work hard, choose form over depth (i.e., do a little bit right versus doing more, but incorrectly), dissolve any limits that we’ve imposed on ourselves, have patience, and never give up. And as we develop these skills in class, so can we apply them outside in the “real world”.

Last year, I competed for the first time in the New York Regional Yoga Asana Championship in NYC. This was a personal challenge for me because up to that point in my life, I had never competed in something like this. Just the idea of performing on stage alone, in front of an audience was challenging enough–never mind the actual yoga. In the end, I was so happy I faced my fears and did it, and it was a very happy and fulfilling day for me.

This year, I watched the competition, which was equally a treat because as a participant last year, I had missed all the beautiful performances. In addition, Connecticut participants competed at Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA in the New England Regional Championship. This was a fun (and beautiful!) venue and I was able to watch the show with some of my fellow yoga practitioners and instructors and meet some new people as well. You can watch some mind-blowing poses by several of the women competitors here:

Another benefit of watching the show was that I got to mingle with the audience and meet some of the very passionate sponsors who were there showcasing their products. In the video below, you can meet Troy and Ashley from Sambazon, Laura, a Bikram instructor who also sells Shakti activewear, and Juli from Zico. It was a joy to meet them all and to even learn some interesting things that I didn’t know! If you’re a Bikram enthusiast or work out frequently, you’ll appreciate some of the information here:

Yes, it was fun to watch the competition this year; yet seeing everyone work through their 3 minutes on stage had me thinking that it would also be fun to compete again. : )

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