Saturday, October 31, 2009

Philippine Yoga Asana Championship 2009

The 2nd Philippine Yoga Asana Championships (PYAC) was held at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4/F RCBC Plaza, Makati last October 25, 2009.

The goal of the event was to bring yoga to the national consciousness by making more people aware of all the benefits — physical, mental, emotional — that can come from practicing yoga. At the same time, it also highlighted the possibility that “competition” can also take the form where all the competitors are cheering for one another and urging each other to reach their potential and go beyond.

Participants who joined the competition were required to complete 2 registration forms from the PYAC website, the Entry Form and the Waiver & Release of Liability Form.

Adhering to the rules and regulations set out by the organizing committee of the International Yoga Asana Championship, participants were also required to furnish a photo ID, proof of age and proof of residency together with the 2 forms. The duly completed and signed registration documents were then submitted to the Bikram Yoga Manila Office thru Tristan Choa, PYAC Chairman.

The Adult Division championship, which was divided into men and women categories, was open to all individuals 18 years and older. There was also a Youth Division category for younger participants. However, there were no separate categories for yoga teachers and students.

Foreigners using tourist visas were not eligible to compete. Other restrictions were: female contestants must not be pregnant, no contestant can participate as a judge at any regional championship and stimulating drugs or alcoholic beverages must not be used before or during the championship. The Committee reserved the full right to suspend a competitor at any time.

Participants were given 3 minutes to perform a set of required poses (“asana”), plus 2 more advanced poses. For this year, the five required asanas were:

1. Dandayamana Janusirasana (Standing-Head-to-Knee)
2. Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pulling Pose)
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
4. Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)
5. Pashcimottanasana (Stretching Pose)

Using standardized judging criteria, the competitors were given scores based on balance, strength, poise, stability, flexibility, gracefulness and appropriate use of the time to finish the pose as they performed their routine.

Optional postures were judged on the degree of difficulty and performance. Points were deducted for imbalance and/or instability. Postures in performances exceeding 3 minutes were considered incomplete and disqualified.

First and second place winners in the championship were eligible to compete at the Annual International Yoga Asana Championship Finals in Los Angeles, CA. The third place finisher was designated as an alternate competitor.

For the audience who watched the competition proper, tickets were sold for Php 300 at Bikram Yoga Manila and at the event entrance.

The event was for the benefit of A Child’s DREAM Foundation, Baguio City’s first pediatric rehabilitative center for special children. Children from Pampanga to Kalinga Apayao and Abra with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism or Down syndrome come to the place for treatment.

Presented by Bikram Yoga Manila and Pru Life UK, the 2nd PYAC was sponsored by the Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, and The Philippine Star.

For more information, visit the official website at or e-mail


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