Malaysian International Yoga Competition 2013
A very vibrant Malaysian International Yoga Competition 2013
This year, a huge and delighted crowd, easily 4,000, walked in and out of the clean and neatly decorated Kandiah Hall, in the secure vicinity of Sekolah Kebangsaan Vivekananda, Brickfields, to witness a vibrant and colourful show of the Malaysian International Yoga Competition (MIYC) 2013.
The highest number of school students, more than 600, and adults, more than 200, participated and made the event, held on May 1st 2013, a distinguished one. Surely, the Vegetarian Food Fair, held in conjunction with the competition, was an additional attraction.
With increasing participation from yoga enthusiasts from around the world, especially India, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, Malaysian Yoga Society (MYS), the official organiser of MIYC 2013, expects Malaysia to be one of the main centres in Asia to attract more of such yoga-based events and activities.
As hundreds of children and adults bravely took to stage to showcase their talents, the atmosphere, though at first relaxed, turned out to be exciting, encouraging and enthusiastic. Mr Muralidharan, one of the volunteers, commented that each year the quality of performance improves as participants do their best to try more advanced asanas, or postures.
“The children had trained very hard and it was good to see them enjoying themselves. Almost half of them had taken part in the previous competitions and there’s marked progress in their performance. They also showed a lot of confidence in tackling postures they were not previously able to do. This is a very encouraging sign because many of them are from rural areas and the competition was a great moral booster to them,” noted Mrs Sumathi Jeganathan, a Super Yoga Kids instructor with MAYI Yoga Academy.
The children, from 4 years old to 17 years old, were in fact all winners as they enjoyed themselves to the maximum. Added to their joy was the free breakfast and lunch; other activities like colouring contest and free dental check-up; free goody bags, gifts, drinks and certificates received by each and every child who went up on stage to perform his or her five favourite asanas. These were mostly sponsored by kind-hearted individuals and corporations.
“Participation in the children’s category increases every year. This is because more and more schools are seeing the positive transformation in children who practice yoga. Besides teaching them discipline, yoga creates opportunities for them to understand themselves better as they become more aware of their body, mind, breath and action. The outcome of this is mental/physical fitness and clarity of mind. Hence the competition is an important tool to groom these children to a healthy yogic lifestyle,” said Master Manisekaran, the founder of MYS.
As is the norm (in yoga competitions around the world), the competition was not aggressive in nature but inspiring and full of positive energy. Participants showcased their talents not in arrogance or pride, but in a graceful, inviting and inspiring way. Every participant was given a grand clap of hands besides gifts and certificates to encourage them not only to participate, but to absorb the real meaning of yoga and see and understand yoga for what it is — a mind-body science that brings utmost benefit to the wholesome growth of a person.
Winners of each category — five for children, and six for adults — received medals, cash, hampers and gifts. The pinnacle of the show was the heated competition between the winners of all these categories. They each performed challenging as well as difficult asanas and proved to the wildly excited crowd that they did indeed possess a great skill in mastering the art of stretching their limits, literally!
Ahmallah Veloo from KL took back the overall championship trophy and a cash gift for the children’s category while Kanisorn Namchaiswadwong from Thailand bagged the trophy and cash for the adult’s category. Among notable winners was Mr Rakhma Sakharam Lende from India who won in the above 55-years-old category. He had also won in MYS’ previous competitions.
As a measure of respect and appreciation, the MYS committee presented a special award to the oldest participant, Mr Kumaraswamy, from Puchong, Selangor, who is not new to the arena. Above 83 years old, he is a living proof of what yoga can do for us at that age — provide more strength, vitality and vigour, and a healthy and fit stature.
With MIYC 2013 successfully over, the stage is already set in momentum for the next competition on the 7th of June 2014. MYS expects more than 1,000 participants to take part this time around and make the event merrier still.