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YOGA San Antonio Hosts 2014 USA Yoga National Championship


by Deborah Charnes M


Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Graduate Degree Programs


EXPLORE AOMA


Join us for a fun & informative introduction to AOMA’s masters & doctoral programs in acupuncture & Oriental medicine!


Master’s Program Session: April 4th and April 5th Doctoral Program Session: April 6th


Guests will:


• Meet AOMA’s thriving community and tour our campus • Learn about the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine • Get an in-depth look at the graduate programs’ curriculum • Learn about clinical opportunities and alumni success • Speak with academic advisors, admissions, and financial aid


www.aoma.edu admissions@aoma.edu (512) 492-3013


4701 West Gate Blvd. Austin, TX 78745


12 Natural Awakenings San Antonio


ost people think of yoga as a very private and quiet activity. Yogis typically perform their sequence of postures in tranquility, behind closed


doors. That won’t be the case March 14-16 at the 2014 USA Yoga National Championship, when more than 200 highly skilled yogis representing 36 states will gather at San Antonio’s historic Aztec Theatre to demonstrate their advanced yoga skills and postures. It will be San Antonio’s first time to host the national yoga championship. Watching skilled advanced yogis move into an asana (posture) is like watching a ballet or gymnasts at the Olympics.


Gianna Purcell is a perfect example. Today she is the top female contender at the championship, and in 2012 she was named the Texas Regional Asana champion. Her postures are among the most beautiful to watch, but her path to yoga was a rocky one. After a number of childhood injuries and hours on her feet as a hair stylist, her joints and back ached with severe pain. A client suggested she try yoga. The results were transformational. Her back pain disappeared within the first month, and within a year she was off anti-depressants and ADHD medication. The national championship event traditionally draws


a crowd of more than 1,000 people, with a total audience of 30,000 via live streaming. Tickets are modestly priced to allow as many people as possible to appreciate the beauty and the gift of the participating yogis. Watching the competitors who have qualified for the nationals, one would think that they’ve dedicated their entire lives to yoga. Yet some have been practicing only a


2012 USA Yoga Asana Champion Jared McCann


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