Joseph visits the Arnold

My Senior Moment: A Yoga Competition Journey (Part 1)

My Senior Moment: A Yoga Competition Journey (Part 1)

In 2014, I had been practicing Bikram yoga regularly for a few years. At age 54, I was seeing progress. My asanas were improving slowly and surely, and I was really feeling the benefits of a regular practice. The benefits were not just physical, but mental and spiritual as well. Plus, I was truly enjoying the yoga community I found at my studio, Pure Om Fairfax.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional competition was coming up in January 2015. I saw some signs up in the studio for USA Yoga competition training, but gave them little notice. After all, wasn’t I well past the age of sport competition?

One evening I was chatting with a fellow “senior” yogi, and she said she was competing. I wanted to learn more. I did not know that age 50 plus had a separate competition division. I decided to attend the regional competition…just to observe.

I ended up spending the entire afternoon enjoying the competition. I was inspired! I thought, “I can do this!” I wanted to participate and resolved to join the competition training for the following year.  Fall 2015, I joined our competition team, one of two seniors.

Did I feel a bit overwhelmed, a bit intimidated? At first, yes, but as we practiced together, and sweated, and refined our routines, and encouraged each other, I forged new friendships, new confidence, new calm. I started to realize that competition is not about ego. Rather, it is about trusting yourself.

Would my competition routine be perfect? No, but it would be perfect for me. At age 55, I was preparing to show the world what I could do, with the body and mind and spirit of a senior yogi. As I readied my routine for the regional competition in February 2016, I found a new sense of calm and acceptance (along with a few pre-event jitters). I couldn’t wait to take the stage!

Yoga and Competition

Two words that are rarely used in the same sentence are competition and yoga. My name is Michael Fine and last February I competed (or as I prefer to say demonstrated and shared my love of yoga) in the 2016 Midwest Regional Asana Championships, which I am proud to say was hosted by my home yoga school and sanctuary, Bikram Yoga North Shore, in Glenview, a suburb of Chicago. As a diehard yogi with a six year almost daily practice, my reasons for entering the Regional Championships were likely different than most of the other participants. You see, I entered the championships not with the goal of winning, but rather with the sole objective of inspiring and changing the minds of all of those people who believed that they couldn’t practice yoga for reasons many of you have likely heard time and time again: “I am too old, too fat, too inflexible, too sick, allergic to heat, blah, blah, blah.” My ultimate hope was that once inspired, these people would be empowered to do what the human body, mind and spirit were designed to do; that is, to heal!

Read More

Interview with Scott Marin

An Interview with Scott Marin, USA Yoga Senior Men’s Champion 2015 & 2016

 

  • What got you started practicing yoga?  About 15 years ago and before I started doing yoga, I developed pretty sore knees and hips from decades of running. My wife, Karen, had been doing yoga at a fitness center, and she invited me to attend a class. I found hatha yoga to be a great fitness program, and my joints improved. 

Read More

Joseph visits the Arnold

USA Yoga Board President, Joseph Encinia visits The Arnold

Joseph Encinia, our intrepid board president, visited Columbus, Ohio earlier this month. Joseph took a whirlwind tour to look over the venue for our first East Coast Super Regional, and to promote the upcoming event. His visit included several workshops at local studios and a television interview. Joseph also met with the organizers of the Arnold Sports Games and wowed them with his Nali technique. We are so excited about our collaboration with this prestigious international event. I would like to thank Jayn and Craig Mayton, our Arnold co-organizers for introducing USA Yoga to The Arnold Sports Games.