Jared McCann. Photo: Mike McInnis and Jerry Herman Photography
The yoga community is buzzing about the 2013 National Yoga Asana Championship that took place this past weekend in New York. While the competition is a source of continuous drama and debate from outside groups it seems like the yogis “competing” are filled with gratitude, respect, and sincere love for their practice; inspiring people all over the world to roll out a mat.
As a former athlete I believe in competition and that its presence can bring out the best performances in competitors, but when I picture myself at The Green Yogi trying to create a better shirshasana (headstand) than my neighbor I think about how unsafe that state of mind could be for my physical and mental state. Then again…
Our experiences in life are all about how we choose to think about situations. Have a dilemma at work? Do you stress any worry or do you think it’s an opportunity to push yourself and get excited? Pregnant? Are you freaking out about the delivery or are you choosing to be educated, calm, and relaxed? Have a HUGE party your hosting? Anxious or enjoying the process? Thoughts frame our emotions and we are in control of our own thoughts. If you want to experience something positively, think positively.
Instead of thinking about beating my neighbor at a pose what if I frame the competition within myself. What if it’s not about how my body looks in the pose but rather how calm my mind is when I’m in MY full expression of the pose. When I think about competition in yoga this way I love the idea of it and can’t wait for my next class to compete.
The purpose of yoga is to calm the fluctuations of the mind. If competition allows yogis to achieve this goal and find serenity, like Nike says, “just do it.”
Congratulations to winners, New York’s own Jared McCann and Gianna Purcell, from Texas. The top two yogis in all categories (men’s, women’s, youth girls, and youth boys) won trips to LA in June, where they’ll compete for the international title.
We all have to walk our own paths, I choose to make mine a happy one.