TAKOMA PARK,MD—Local resident Dawn Schneier narrowly won the 1st Annual Takoma Park Yoga Smack-Down!™ with
a simple, unadorned tree pose, beating a field of more than 100 competitors in a weekend-long orgy of poses, deep breathing,
and armpit hair.
“My whole idea going into this was to keep it simple,” said Schneier, a longtime yoga practitioner and former
teacher. “Sure, I can do fancy poses. But I kept remembering that snowboarder in the Olympics who hot-dogged down the
hill and lost the gold.”
Schneier’s strategy outfoxed fellow competitors Marc Fikher and Jonathan Tremblay, who were locked in a fierce battle
during the final round. Fikher had just completed a frenzied sun salutation aimed at Tremblay, knocking him out of his complicated
inverted downward-dog— which involves doing that traditional yoga pose while standing on one’s head. But Fikher
overshot his final thrust, bringing him out of position as the final gong sounded. Schneier alone remained in position, making
her the clear winner.
“Om! Om!” the excited Schneier squealed, immediately breaking pose and jumping up and down after the final
gong. “I know yoga is supposed to be about inner peace, but I’ll be honest with you. Winning feels better.”
Fikher and Tremblay were visibly frustrated after the competition ended. “I just can’t believe I blew it like
that,” Fikher said. “I really thought I nailed that sun salutation. But she deserved to win.” Tremblay echoed
the sentiments, although the sound of his voice was muffled because he was curled tightly in the fetal position.
The competition turned out to be unexpectedly fierce. “I thought it was over when a couple of others were doing warrior
poses aimed right at me,” said Schneier. “But I kept on my game mentally. I did some deep squat poses right back.
And I just kept thinking, ‘You’re going down!’ And they did.”
Schneier’s victory was quite an upset, with most bookmakers predicting Fikher to win by a 2-to-1 margin. Fikher had
even arranged a lucrative contract with the popular local yoga studio that sponsored the competition. But because he lost,
the studio will not feature him in advertising and promotional events as originally planned. “It’s very disappointing,”
said studio owner Sally Shreve. “But yoga is not for losers. It’s about winning and being the best.”