Keri Palasz, of Lititz, accepts the concept, for some folks, the thought of aggressive yoga is a little bit of a stretch.
Palasz, 54, positioned first within the feminine age 50-and-older class on the USA Yoga National Championship competitors held in Louisville, Kentucky, in August 2021, and first in her class in the course of the International Yoga Sports Federation’s World Championship occasion, judged just about in November 2021.
“A lot of people find this concept of yoga as a sport to be confusing because they think of yoga to be purely a spiritual practice,” Palasz says.
Palasz shared some perception on her expertise as a aggressive yogi, which we’re sharing in coordination with International Day of Yoga, Tuesday, which was established by the United Nations in 2014. The day is supposed to acknowledge, have fun and take part in yoga.
Yoga is practiced by folks world wide and continues to develop in recognition, however solely a smaller variety of yoga practitioners take part competitively. Organizations equivalent to USA Yoga are making efforts to get yoga authorised as an Olympic sport.
The bodily poses, known as asanas, are considered one of eight limbs of yoga, says Palasz, an adjunct professor who teaches diet at West Chester University and a Ph.D. candidate at Liberty University. Other elements of yoga embrace meditation, self-discipline, self-study and managed respiratory, all of which Palasz says come into play throughout competitions.
Competitive yoga routines embrace six postures to be accomplished in three minutes, Palasz says.
“During that 3 minutes you must perform six postures that represent the following groups: back bends, forward compressions, tractions, twists, lifts and inversions,” Palasz says. “If you miss a group, you have points deducted. You need to hold each posture in absolute stillness for a minimum of 3 seconds, and if you can hold it for 5 seconds, you can earn more points.”
Palasz says rivals want to make use of all elements of yoga so as to be exact and train breath management to attain properly.
“When you’re doing those postures, you’re meditating, you’re clearing your mind and you’re focusing your concentration,” Palasz says. “To get yourself to a point where you can stand on stage in a bathing suit and perform six postures with precision and control in 3 minutes following a very precise series of instructions, it takes a lot of concentration. It takes a lot of meditation. It takes a tremendous amount of self-study and self-discipline to get yourself to the point where you can do that.”
Palasz didn’t initially grow to be concerned in yoga to win championships although. She picked up a yoga mat when she determined to take off her trainers.
“My husband got me into running marathons when we got married 20 years ago, and after about 15 years of running, you start to realize that your recovery is not as strong after each marathon,” Palasz says. “I was able to run the 26.2 miles with very few injuries during all those years, and I really enjoyed it. It was great for me to have that goal that I attached to my running. I was always training for the next marathon.”
So when Palasz tried yoga, she was in search of a purpose to connect to her exercises. And when she heard about aggressive yoga, she discovered a technique to follow the train in a means that aligned together with her accomplishment-driven persona. She likens it to runners who resolve they wish to run a marathon.
“Not everyone sets out there to win a marathon,” Palasz says. “For a lot of people, setting a goal to your physical activity may help you to do it more frequently, and it can help you be more energized about what you’re doing. It can really help build your self-confidence when you complete a goal like that.”
Palasz, who trains with a coach on-line, additionally attends 90-minute sizzling yoga classes at Blaze Yoga in Lancaster, the place she first found sizzling yoga. The 90-minute session (held in a 105-degree studio) contains 26 poses and two respiratory workout routines.
“I remember I walked out of that room the first time and I thought, ‘I love this. I feel great. I feel like I stretched every muscle of my body like it hasn’t been stretched for years,’ ” Palasz says. “Everything that was tight from decades of running, all of the sudden was comfortable and loose in my body, and it just felt great. And the other thing I thought was, ‘Wow I just sweat more in 90 minutes than I do in an entire marathon.’ ”
She quickly started attending repeatedly. Palasz encourages folks to seek out a while to suit yoga to your train routine, no matter whether or not you pursue it competitively.
“When you go to a yoga studio, they’re always really big on trying to get you to come every day, and if you have the time, I’m sure it’s extremely beneficial to you, but it’s a big dedication of time,” Palasz says. “I believe there’s a benefit to even going once a week. Part of yoga is balance, and I believe that means balancing it into your life.”