2013 Champions

Jared McCaan, 2012 & 2013 USA Yoga Gold Medal Winner

Yoga has given me peace.  Before I began yoga I felt as though I was victim to the whims of life.  Through dedication to my yoga practice I have learned to take control of my life, of my thoughts, of my actions, and feelings.  I have gone deep inside myself to realize that I am the creator of this life, not the victim of it.  I have become empowered to create the life that I have always dreamed of, and have also learned to take full responsibility for the moments that seem to go off course. Because of yoga I have exactly the life I want.  And have learned to appreciate the life I have.

A yoga posture is a piece of art.  It is a way of expression, like a painting, or a song.  Within it, there is emotion, struggle, freedom, creative sensibility, and soul....just to name a few.  And any good artist knows that real art cannot just be pretty.  How boring!  Its like dating a gorgeous person who isn't very bright.  Sometimes you see a perfect posture on stage but it doesn't move you or grab you.  Sometimes you see a not so perfect posture on stage and it brings tears to your eyes. There are people who are flexible or strong, or who can balance forever in a handstand but their postures are still not beautiful.  Because the real beauty comes when a person brings his or her spirit into a posture.  To fill your posture with feeling, emotion, love, fear, vulnerability, and everything in between.  That is when yoga really becomes beautiful.  It is the same with teaching yoga or anything you do.  A person can be an amazing technician but the best teachers have their own personal style and can connect to others by being connected to themselves.

2013 USA Yoga Gold Medal Winner

In a yoga practice, I consider the most beautiful thing to be ease. When the body is ready to move into a pose, to a certain depth, like water it looks effortless? That's beautiful. A persons practice can be so telling.

I see the act of demonstrating yoga asana as insight to a persons being. They get to tell a story. Here is my spine, my support system. This is where I am today. It is a very vulnerable thing to do. For myself, demonstration is an offering. These postures have done and continue to do so much for me, now I present them to you to do with what you will. I get to communicate without words.

Emily Avery 2013 USA Yoga Gold Medal Winner

 In addition to her yoga practice, Emily is a dedicated ballet dancer. She has studied at schools such as the Royal Ballet School of London, the Paris Opera Ballet School, the San Francisco Ballet School, and the Portland School of Ballet. Emily was also the valedictorian of her high school class and will attend Princeton University in the fall of 2013, where she plans to study neuroscience in addition to maintaining her love for ballet and Bikram yoga.