The goal of the competitions are to show and demonstrate a persons' practice. Scores are based on strength, flexibility and balance. I've seen extremely flexible practitioners fall out of postures, or over extend their alignment and score less than someone with less flexibility but are able to hold still. The great thing about competition is the inspiration it instills in people, I remember in Mexico one year, more than 50 competitors of all ages get up on stage, because they loved their practice and wanted to show the crowd what yoga meant to them. This year a competitor had only one arm and still performed his routine. That's the beauty about competition being shown on an international platform, anyone can do it.
Of course the other extreme are those competitors that train to the extreme and some have even injured themselves in the process. However if you truly are a yogi, then in that process one learns that it's not about the ego, but rather about organically allowing things to happen. Training hard but not pushing to the breaking point, because the body is something to be valued and taken care of, rather than abused.
"...We're looking at technique. If a yogi's alignment is off, we'll hold it against them,
but we're also watching for balance and control of the breath...
We've had athletes and contortionists come to compete and they think they're going to kill it,
but then they get jittery and fall. Yoga is about catching the stillness."
My husband competed for California in 2014, below is his routine. He had been practicing for 7 months and was inspired to compete after a fellow trainee who had tied for number one told him he had what it took. He placed 12th nationally that year and it transformed his yoga practice as well as renew his love for Bikram yoga. Eventually he's hoping to compete and represent Australia in the future.
I hope one day yoga competition becomes worldwide and all kinds of people get up on stage. Not for the scores or ranking, but to show that something this restorative and healing is for everyone, and the yogis getting up on stage to demonstrate this will be celebrated and admired to inspire.