Hatha Yoga began in India at least 5,000 years ago. The yoga community has grown exponentially, and radiated its popularity throughout the world to include more than 20 million yoga practitioners in the United States.
Yoga Asana (postures) competitions originated in India hundreds of years ago, and are still being conducted there today. For the past 10 years, USA Yoga has honored some of the most disciplined, skilled and dedicated yoga practitioners in the United States. The 11th National USA Yoga Asana Championship takes place March 14-16, 2014 at the Aztec Theatre in downtown San Antonio. This year they are adding a senior’s division (55 and up) for the first time as a testament to the life-long vitality that yoga provides to its practitioners. Through training, devotion, and mindful attention, USA Yoga provides support for the nation’s leading practitioners to sharpen their skills and increase awareness for the multitude of physical and mental benefits that yoga provides.
“Texas is a strong yoga state,” says Jeff Chen, owner of four studios in Austin, Texas. Chen recently hosted the Texas regionals with 60 participants from 10-60 years of age. “To actually have the championships in Texas is life letting people know that Texas is not just about steak and barbecue. We take our yoga seriously.”
USA Yoga sponsors annual regional Yoga Asana competitions across the country which cull the most dedicated yogis who then compete in the National Asana Championships.
Founded by one of the world’s foremost yoga experts, Rajashree Choudhury, USA Yoga is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Sherman Oaks, formed with the purpose of developing and promoting Yoga Asana as an official sport.
“Watching our asana competitors is like watching a ballet...or a gold medal winning gymnast,” says Rajashree Choudhury. “Currently, more than 20 million people in the U.S. practice some form of hatha yoga, and the national competitions allow us to share some of the most beautiful poses with the world,” adds Choudhury. “But along with the stunning asana practices are heart warming stories that chronicle the transformation many experience as dedicated yoga practitioners.”