Toronto Hatha Yoga Competition

by Barbora Simek

Its been a little over a week since Toronto’s yoga community came together at the Review Cinema to cheer on the competitors in the Eastern Hatha Yoga Competition. In front of a sold-out 240 person crowd, competitors came up one by one to show off months of training in the form of three-minute routines.

With last years crowd barely reaching the 40 person mark, selling out the theater was a huge success for the community and organizers of the event. With boosted attendance came boosted curiosity, and OhMyBikram is here to answer the three most frequently asked competition questions.

Q: How do you compete in yoga?

Competitors compete by performing a 3 minute routine of 5 compulsory and two optional postures. compulsory postures are:

  1. Standing head-to-knee pose
  2. Standing bow-pulling pose
  3. Bow pose
  4. Rabbit pose
  5. Forward stretching pose

Optional postures are chosen individually from the advanced series

Q: How is the competition judged?

A panel of judges marks each competitor on the following criteria

  • Grace
  • Walk
  • Movement
  • Style
  • Steadiness – points are deducted for wobbling or a fall
  • General Appearance – this includes costume, hair, clarity of skin and eyes
  • Preformance of Postures each pose is marked out of ten, with more points given for challenging poses

Q: Isn’t yoga competition a paradox?

Yoga competition has a rich history in India. Still there are many people who are outspoken against yoga competition. While some argue that yoga is about achieving peace which competition contradicts, enthusiasts say that true yoga competition is less about competing with each other but rather about achieving personal bests. Competition occurs within hatha yoga, and is a measurement of the physical practice, and in no way seeks to crown the best yogi but rather crowns the yogi with the most accomplished physical practice.

Did you attend the event? What did you think?

Share your thoughts about hatha yoga competition below!

Mari Dickey, 2009 Western Canadian Hatha Yoga Champion by Ron Solidon



Filed under Q & A, Yoga Competition

2 responses to “Toronto Hatha Yoga Competition

  1. Hallie

    I love you, Barb. I feel like I’m constantly having this conversation about the competition. I guess we just need to keep saying it…

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