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Taylor Diepold: Moving from darkness to light.

Diagnosed with childhood depression, Taylor Diepold, the youngest of three girls, managed her moods through excelling in athletics, holding three varsity letters, and later through addiction and eating disorders. She went through her first rehab in High School, but continued a downward path of abuse culminating in heroin addiction.

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Challenge and Sweat

Bruce Merkle

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Staying with the Positive

Caty Cook is competing in the USA Yoga 2019 National Championship in the Adult 50+ Division.

There is much written about yoga competition, past and present, some controversial...

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Michele Vennard: Yoga is the Gateway to a Limitless Life

Michele Vennard won the Adult 50+ Women’s Division Gold Medal at the 2018 USA Yoga Nationals and went on to win the Gold Medal in the International competition held in Beijing, China. I caught up with this busy studio owner and yoga champion to congratulate her and ask about the future. She is excited to travel to yoga studios and share her knowledge and experience.  If interested, please email to Michele at [email protected].
1)    Tell us how you prepared for the competition - training both mental and physical, diet, strategy, etc.

I’m so honored to have won the Gold Medal for Women’s Adult 50+ division. Honestly, I was so honored to win the National Title that I did not think much of the International Title as I don’t travel much. But friend and yoga competitor, Lee Dickinson, told me that he would go with me if I wanted to go as he speaks Mandarin and he used to live in Beijing. From that offer, I looked into flights, which were not expensive to my surprise, and off I went, committing to this invitation! My practice has been an everyday practice for 12-15 years now, so my “training” was not much more than what I do everyday except for some additional homework on my spine after class. At BYSJ, we practice the advanced series on Sundays, so that time in those poses helped, along with our group as a team practicing routines each week. Someone asked me recently, how tired I must be now from training so hard for this win. Ironically, this year, I emphasized a lot more on relaxation as after so long your body progresses with relaxation as much as intensity. I love my practice so enhancing it with deeper savasanas was nice and beneficial too.

2)    Looking back on this experience, what did you enjoy most?

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Yoko Jackson: Grateful for Her Practice

The Adult 50+ 2017 and 2018 champions are preparing to travel to Beijing, China to compete in the World Championship of Yoga Sports, December 1-2. This series of blog posts will explore their journey.

Yoko Jackson won the Silver Medal for Adult 50+ Women in Madison, WI in 2018. Here’s a look at her journey to Beijing.

1) Why are you competing in Internationals? What drives you to make this journey?

Last year, I decided that it would be a good way to commemorate my 50th birthday by competing in the yoga competition. I had only been practicing Yoga for three years and thought that it would be a great way to assess my skills to better understand how to improve myself. I had never imagined that I would get the opportunity to compete in internationals.

2)  How are you preparing for the International Competition? Include types of practice, diet, meditation, etc.

On Mondays, I have my Ashtanga primary class, and Tuesdays are my Ashtanga Mysore class. From Wednesday to Saturday I continue my Ashtanga practice on my own. Also, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I practice hot yoga for 60 minutes and then 90 minutes Friday to Sunday.

3) What are you most excited about?

I’m very excited about learning more about the Chinese culture and competing with all the other incredible people at the international level.

4) Will any friends/family travel with you? Who?

No, I'll be traveling by myself, but my family and friends are always supporting me, and I know I will have their support.

5) How long have you been practicing?

I have been practicing hot yoga for three years.

6) What is your profession?

I take care of my 17 year old daughter and 22 year old son at home. I also take care of my adorable miniature schnauzer.

7) Where do you regularly practice/are you a yoga teacher (name the studio, including city and state)?

I practice at YogaWorks in Fairfax, VA and practice Ashtanga at Heart N Soul Yoga in Vienna, Va.

8) Any other info you want us to know.

Yoga has helped me recover and rehabilitate after a tennis injury four years ago. I have continued to better my health by trying all different types of yoga. I’m very grateful for being introduced to the practice, and I hope that all kinds of yoga are fully appreciated and understood by the yogis out there.

For Lisa Pafe, Competition is About Showing Your Perfection



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