Mara Scaramella: Continually Challenging Herself

Mara Scaramella has a lot on her plate, but she still finds time to practice and compete, achieving the first-place medal for Arizona Adult 50+ Women for the past three years. Mara is one of the USA Yoga Federation scholarship winners for the 2018 Nationals and is looking forward to the competition in Madison, WI.

“I enjoy going to the competitions – the whole community is really nice and really fun,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to it and am really excited that there are so many Adult 50+ female competitors this year!”

At age 56, Mara has been practicing hot yoga for eight years at The Foundry in Scottsdale, AZ. She practices four to five times a week, including doing Sumits Yoga as well. Mara is a single Mom to two sons, ages 18 and 20, teaches nursing at Arizona State University, works as a nurse, and is finishing her Family Nurse Practitioner doctorate.

Luckily, she gets lots of encouragement from her sons. They are very supportive and help facilitate her practice by preparing her water bottles and doing her yoga laundry. Mara also enjoys the support of The Foundry owner Nicole Deacon and the competition team at the studio. The studio encourages teachers to ask competitors to perform their routines at the end of class. In addition to coaching from Nicole, Mara also worked to get ready for Regionals with former champion Gianna Purcell.

Mara first got into yoga as part of her physical fitness. As she lives in the dessert, she enjoys hiking and swimming and used to compete in triathlons. Today, she still swims and bikes, but yoga is the third fitness element instead of running
Why does she compete? “I find that competing satisfies a drive that I have to continuously challenge myself and to advance my practice.” In addition, training with The Foundry team provides “camaraderie -- a special relationship and bond – that keeps me continuing to compete,” she explains.

To prepare for competition, she keeps up a steady routine and takes a positive attitude. Her mantra is “I can do that, and I will do that!” For example, Mara feels that flexibility is her strong point, but she needs to work more on balance and strength, so she is practicing postures such as head and handstands. She is also moving towards a plant-based diet and eats clean.

What would she say to potential Adult 50+ competitors? “I would encourage them to try it and move out of their comfort zone,” she says. “Competition helps you to practice harder and improve your practice by capitalizing on strengths and working on your weaknesses. It is super rewarding and gratifying.”

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