By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Yoga, with roots you can trace back 5,000 years, describes both a physical exercise and a state of mind. It has experienced a boom in popularity.

And as Mike Schuh reports, one of the best in the country is here in Baltimore.

Eddie Hall won the state championship in his last competition.

“I love practicing, and I love going on stage and competing,” said Hall, Director of Fitness at Baltimore Fitness and Tennis in Pikesville.

He can bend his body in astonishing ways.

“It’s called folding peacock,” he said while demonstrating an asana. “It’s a balance posture but also a strength posture.”

It’s his ability to contort his body that makes his next competition the national tournament. He even amazes himself.

“Two years ago I couldn’t do that, and I’ve been competing for five years, so once I realized I could do that and hold it and maintain the balance it was a pretty big deal for me at that point,” Hall said.

His fiancee, Kelly Weckesser, is also an accomplished practitioner and instructor. They are private trainers and teach three or more yoga classes every day.

To relax, they do bikram yoga in Hampden in a studio where it’s over 100 degrees.

He says he’s always been flexible, but to be this good took years of constant work.

“Five years ago I had no clue I’d be at the level where I am at now. So just by seeing someone else do it and trying it and trying it and trying it until you can finally do it,” Hall said.

He will compete against the best in the country. Seven moves in three minutes. It’s a competition where, for the first time, former winners are allowed to enter.

“My goal is to get in the top 10,” Hall said. “I try not to think about that, I try to just go out there and do the best that I can do on that day.”

The national championship is in two weeks in Texas.

Weckesser has also been invited to compete at the nationals in Texas. We’ll let you know how they do.

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