UK Yoga Asana Championships

beginning group picture asana champs 2013


Yesterday I took part in the UK Yoga Asana Championships.

5 weeks ago i stood at the reception of Bikram Highbury and Islington, I was asked what optional postures i was going to put into my routine, my reply was along the lines of woah what i’m not even nearly ready to take part this year but i am super wanting to take part next year.

Anyone that knows me knows that when I first did yoga at Bikram Bristol I had this distant aim of one day when i was good enough then participating in the championships.  That was back in 2009/10.  Then I moved to London and due to having an intense theatre schedule where my body was always knackered and also suffering from a back injury from the theatre i was continuously backbending through… then my Bikram Yoga practice took a bit of a landslide.  Fast forward to the end of February 2013, no longer working in the theatre, and a new studio opening near my house, and i excitedly returned to practice.  I had bilateral knee surgery this January and at first the standing series was so so hard for me, the heat was also very hard, but it all came back and my practice was soon back to being strong.   I hid behind the mirror pillar one session and after pranyama breathing Sindy told me to move to the only available spot which was on the front row.  From there was a whirlwind of being encouraged to do the championships, finally entering, and then 5 weeks of solid hard dedication and hard work, combined with my performing and teaching, a big house move, and my dad in hospital.

Going into the championships i had a slightly added pressure of being someone a lot of people thought was going to do very well, but different from them my personal aim was solely to get through my routine.  Particularly the first two postures, they are still very fresh to me.

Yesterday was an amazing experience and although my routine didn’t go quite as I planned it to then I took a lot from it.  I was so so proud of my five compulsory postures – standing head to knee, standing bow, floor bow, rabbit, stretching pose – when i watch the video of my performance i am a bit like woah i can’t believe how good i did them!  I never used to get my head anywhere near my toes in stretching pose but somehow it is now there.  Sadly my penultimate posture didn’t go quite as planned, and then my last posture which i did beautifully got zero points as I was over the 3 minute time limit.  I have so so much learning still to do and unlike my five week whirlwind I now have a whole year to do it in.  I am so excited not only for next years championships but for having a whole year of training in which i can learn to do so many wonderful new things.

Ayesha who won the ladies section, and Michael who won the mens section were both worthy winners.  Ayesha did a wonderful routine and has the most inspirational story about her journey to becoming UK champion, and Michael inspires me in every class  as he has a beautiful practice.  Infact everyone there yesterday was inspirational – from those that overcame their nerves to get up on that stage at all, to those that struck such beautiful postures.  Everyone had their own journey and own reason for being there.

Next year I will take part again.  And I will complete my routine within 3 minutes and have every posture count!  I have a whole year now to kick my body and mind into mighty fine shape.  One year be it next year or in the years that follow I’d like to go to LA, that would be really special for me, because it would mean my practice will be so so much better than it is today.  I have so much learning to do in my yoga journey, i will be forever learning i think, I am so excited though, as this is the beginning of my journey 🙂

Special thanks to Kai for teaching me and preparing me for championships, to Sindy for plucking me from behind the pillar mirror in beginners that time in March, to Carl and Georgina who if they hadn’t opened Bikram Bristol and also Bikram H&I I wouldn’t have even discovered this path, and to everyone else that has encouraged, inspired, and taught me.

The two pictures below are me performing full wheel and standing head to knee.

yoga1 yoga2

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