New Competition Rules

Recently, I received an email explaining the new rules for regional and national level competitions. Have y’all heard? There are new rules at the regional and national levels, and there are differences at each level. I just want to talk about the changes for regionals.  I am assuming most of us are not going on to compete at a national level. However, even if you don’t compete I think you might find the changes to the rules at the regional level to be very interesting.

First, let’s review the old rules. Under the old rules, each competitor had three minutes to do seven postures. Postures had to occur in the following order:

Good 'ole SH2K

My head is nowhere near my knee

1. Standing Head to Knee

2. Standing Bow

3. Floor Bow

4. Rabbit

5. Stretching

6. Optional

7. Optional

Postures 1-5 were worth a maximum of 10 points each. How much your optional could be worth depended on what you selected.

Here are the new rules for regionals

You still have to do seven postures in three minutes. However, you now have a range of options for the postures that you do.

1. Balancing Forward Bend: Balancing Stick (6.0), Crow (7.0) and Standing Forehead to Knee (8.0)
2. Balancing Back Bend: Split Arm (8.0), Standing Bow (8.0) and Dancer (8.0)
3. Spine Flexibility Option (Seated): Spine Twist (6.0), Bow (7.0) and Rabbit (7.0)
4. Stretching/Traction: Standing Separate Leg Stretching (6.0), Stretching (7.0) and Upward Stretching (7.0)
5. Optional
6. Optional
7. Optional

You’ll notice that the point values have changed for some of these postures. Where SH2K used to be worth 10 points it is now worth a maximum of 8. USA Yoga will eventually have all of this up on their site.


The email I received from USA Yoga noted:

It is our mission to provide a safe and challenging format for all levels of competitor – beginning, intermediate and advanced. We understand that a format that will encourage a first time competitor to compete may not be the same format that will challenge an advanced competitor…The Regional Format is designed to give beginning and intermediate competitors more opportunity to select postures that are appropriate for their skill level – while also demonstrating mastery of asanas that are fundamental to any practice level. The format consists of four categories of postures with a choice of 3 postures in each category, plus 3 optional postures. As before, the optional postures must be chosen to cover the skills of strength, balance and flexibility.

My reaction to this was positive. I see the changes providing competitors (and audience members) with some great benefits including:
1. Pick what makes sense for you. I love that there are now a range of postures to select. For the first posture, anyone (I think) could do balancing stick. I’m not saying you could do it 100% perfect, but that’s not what this is about. You could get up there and do balancing stick. If you can’t do SH2K, so what? You can still demonstrate your practice on a level that makes sense for you.
2. Less stress. Because you get to select what makes sense for you, and where you are in your practice, I see regionals as far more enjoyable now. You can get up there and do what is right and good for you and not be concerned about pushing yourself in ways that don’t make sense for your body yet.
3. More participants. I can see more people wanting to participate and believing they can participate. I could understand how the previous rules limited who could participate. However, these new rules really focus on simply sharing your practice in a very reasonable way. I think they also recognize that not all of us – maybe even most of us – who compete at regionals are interested in competing at nationals. I know I’m not interested in being a national level competitor. Regionals just got a whole lot more fun.
Regionals just got more fun

Regionals just got more fun

4. Speaking of fun….I bet these new rules will be more enjoyed by the audience. I can geek out and get into watching 50 people do 50 versions of SH2K, standing bow, and so on. But I have to think that most of the audience gets a bit bored with this. These new rules mean that most every routine is different to some extent. I think it could increase attendance.
What Would Your Routine Be?
If I had to craft a routine today, it would look like this:
1. Balancing Stick (my back is still recovering so no SH2K)
2. Standing Bow
3. Spine Twist
4. Upward Stretching
5. Lifting Lotus
I have no idea what I would do for six and seven. I’d really have to think on that. Having an extra optional plus moving my old option (upward stretching) into one of the required postures is a bit tricky. But I also don’t feel the need to pick off the list of advanced postures. I’ve been told I have a nice tree pose. That could be a good one to end with.
What would you pick?
One Year Ago Today on MBYL
Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. American Yoga (@americanyoga)
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 09:03:34

    RT @LeighAHall: What are your thoughts on the new rules for competing at regionals? @USAYOGA #bikramyoga #yogaholics…


  2. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 14:50:05

    New Competition Rules


  3. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 17:07:00

    New Competition Rules


  4. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 01:56:34

    New Competition Rules #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  5. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Jan 31, 2015 @ 07:25:54

    New Competition Rules #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: