03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Growing Group Wants To Make Yoga An Olympic Sport...

But then Bertie Russell and Sarea Hidskes-Valora are the reigning British yoga champions, who today will compete at this year's championships to defend their titles. Devotees of a particularly intense form of yoga known as "Bikram yoga", Bertie and Sarea are part of a growing band of "yogis" who are pushing for the 5,000-year-old tradition to be recognised as a seriously competitive and even Olympic sport.

The British championships will be held at Bikram Yoga City, in east London. During a three-minute sequence, each competitor must perform five compulsory postures followed by two freestyle "advanced" postures before a panel of judges. Contestants are awarded marks out of 10 for their technique, including movement, performance and gracefulness.

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