The 2012 National Yoga Asana Championship is about more than who can strike the best pose. This year's competition could help decide if the discipline is ready for Olympic consideration.
The event, organized by USA Yoga, from March 2-4 in New York, has competitors perform a series of seven poses in just three minutes. Five are mandatory and consist of traditional poses such as head-to-knee and the rabbit. The competitor picks the last two.
The competition comes with the hopes of turning the long thought of spiritual practice into a full-blown competition worthy of Olympic consideration.
But not all practitioners of the discipline agree and say Yoga, in essence, is anything but competitive.
"The roots of yoga are based in acceptance and non-violence and compassion toward self and others," Roseanne Harvey, who's been practicing yoga for 15 years and blogs about the topic, told The Associated Press.
USA Yoga founder Rajashree Choudhury sees things differently.
"I'm not trying to measure anybody's 'eight states,'" she told The AP. "The posture can be competitive."
Winners of the nationals will advance to international competition in June in Los Angeles.