I admit it: During yoga class my mind often wanders, and I catch myself checking out the postures others have managed to settle into with such ease. However, I’ve never thought about my yoga class as a competition. Nor have I been interested in going head-to-head with a fellow classmate to see who has the better asana.
But yoga competitions do exist, and an American yoga organization is hoping to have yoga recognized as an Olympic sport.
USA Yoga is holding a National Yoga Asana Championship in New York March 2-4, and aims to raise awareness about yoga as a competitive sport. According to its website, “USA Yoga’s goal is to join with similar organizations in other countries to form an international yoga federation and to qualify Yoga Asana as an Olympic sport.“
For the USA Yoga Asana Championship, each competitor is judged based on their ability to perform the selected posture, as well as their mind and body connection. For example, when evaluating standing bow pulling pose, judges look for things such as a securely gripped ankle, that shoulders are in one line from the judges’ view, that the chest and abdomen are parallel to the floor, if the competitor is fumbles at all, as well as the stillness in the final posture.
Competitive yoga could be on its way to becoming a popular sport, although I’m sure many will argue that yoga is an individual and reflective practise’not a competition.
And while I would probably tune in to watch others perform various yoga postures (hey, it’s pretty impressive!), I myself will not be entering a yoga competition anytime soon.
Have you competed in a yoga competition? Do you think yoga anasas should be an Olympic sport?