Q&A with Mark Valenton on the upcoming weekend regional competiton in Australia.

1. How long have you been practicing yoga? 
M: I started two years ago in an attempt to loose weight. I’ve since lost 13kgs. 
2. How long have you been entering competition? 
M: Last year was my first time competing. The teachers at my local studio suggested that I consider competitions after a few months of practice. I didn’t feel ready after only a few months as I had looked at international champions like Joseph Encinia and I was nowhere near as comparable. I think I may have underestimated what I could do because I placed first in the Regionals and first at Nationals. I was fortunate enough to fly the flag for Australia and went on to place 15th at this year’s Internationals. 
3. Why do you enter competition?
M: I think the personal challenge for both the mind and the body is the main reason why I do it. The physical benefits that come with consistent practice are a bonus but I thrive on challenging myself with achieving postures I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.
4. What did it feel like to perform at Internationals?
M: I felt like I had executed my best routine at the internationals. There something about the energy of the day and the calibre of the competition that made me lift my spirits. It was my first time competing at that level and I’ve got my sights set on beating my own record next year. However, I think there’s something to be said about an Australian way of thinking when it comes to competition — I was quite happy to coast along and be satisfied to known I had done my best and have fun doing it. 
5. Are you competing next year?
M: yes, I am! I’m currently training for the next round of Regionals. If I qualify it’ll get be back to the same platform for the Nationals and from there hopefully qualify for the Internationals. Fingers crossed! 
6. What advanced postures are you working on?
M: I’m currently working on bow leg peacock and forearm Lyca. Fingers crossed I’ll have this ready by the time internationals roll around.