Yesterday, Ida and I competed in USA Yoga's Midwest Regional Asana Championship. It was a long road to get to the competition, both mentally and physically. I wrote about it a little bit back in November and also last year when we were considering competition but decided against it.
Last week, in the days preceding the competition, both Ida and I had significant cases of nerves. Always feeling tired and ornery, strange appetites and falling a lot while practicing our postures. It was frustrating and terrifying; I fell out of Standing Head to Knee more times than I care to admit. As competition day approached, we prepared ourselves for the worst. We would be happy if we survived our routines without toppling over.
Come competition day, we were confronted with the new challenge of warming up our bodies and staying warm without overdoing it and compromising strength, especially being worried about balance as we were. Luckily we were both near the top of the competing order, so we didn't have too long to wait.
There were competitors from a handful of midwestern states, and everyone was proudly wearing shirts from their home city and yoga studio. In the Bikram world it sometimes seems like everyone knows everyone else.
Standing "on deck" waiting as the next competitor up was among the most stressful moments of my life. My heart was racing, my breath short, my mind going crazy. I tried to stand perfectly still and take deep, slow breaths. It helped a little, but only a little.
Perhaps the adrenaline helped us focus, because I didn't fall and neither did Ida. We both did our postures about as well as we could have expected to. I was a little wobbly in Fingerstand, and Ida was a bit wobbly in Lifting Lotus, but all in all we made it through unscathed.
At the end of the day we were both Wisconsin champs and, more importantly, we were invited to the national competition. Exciting and terrifying! So last night after all the day's events we discussed how to improve our postures and routines and even practiced a little bit.
I will post photos and video in a day or two once I have it all together.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga