Whether you're a seasoned yogi or have just always been interested in trying yoga, the 10th Annual New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships coming to the Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall on Sunday might be for you.
The event, held inside the mall on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
It's a great way to get inspired and to learn more about yoga, said Natasha Grove, owner of Downtown Hartford Bikram Yoga and one of the coach's of several of the athletes participating on Sunday. And it's also a great way to brush up on your own yoga practice, Grove said, by watching experienced practioners going through a series of postures and positions.
"The goal of the USA Yoga Federation is to have yoga recognized as an actual sport," Grove said, adding that competitions like Sunday's regional championships help spread awareness and appreciation of yoga both as a practice and a sport. The goal is to someday have yoga included as a sport at the Olympics, Grove said.
But you might be saying to yourself how can someone "compete" at yoga?
Think of Sunday's regional championships like a figure skating or gymnastic competition, with the 40 participants divided into three different age groups - Youth, Adult and Over 55 - and each being allotted three minutes to complete a series of seven poses. Judges rate each athlete based on the number of "points" they score for the perceived "strength" of the posture. Two men and two women will be selected as the winners from each New England state on Sunday, with the top finisher from each state advancing to the national yoga finals.
"It's really inspiring," Grove said. "We want people to see it, so that's why we have it in a public place. We're trying to build awareness here."
More information about Sunday's event can be found on the New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships' Facebook page.