An ongoing debate about yoga possibly becoming an Olympic event has made its way back to the forefront of mainstream media.
Many “yogis” are arguing that the meditative and spiritual practice of yoga is the perfect event for cutthroat, Olympic competition. Part of their argument is that this concept is not new, and “yoga-offs” are already taking place in India. They also argue that yoga is physically strenuous and requires a lot of balance and grace, like some forms of gymnastics.
Here’s how yoga would work as an Olympic event. Each yogi would have three minutes to do seven yoga poses. Five of the seven poses would be mandatory positions, such as standing head-to-knee and the standing bow-pulling pose. The last two poses are yogi’s choice. The judges would rate them on strength, flexibility, timing and breathing.
This is simply ridiculous. Any competitive event causes stress, and yoga is a practice used to center yourself and relieve stress. These are two opposing concepts. Pushing yourself to the edge to win a yoga competition is more stressful than helpful.
A lot of people have tried yoga, and love it. It’s relaxing and relieves a lot of stress. While it is complicated physically, making it competitive completely defeats the purpose.
Yoga instructor Mary Catherine Starr told the Washingtonian that by making yoga a sport, you take away personal and intuitive aspects of the practice.
Right now, it’s unclear whether the Olympics will say yes to yoga as a competitive sport, so we hope they realize that yoga is all about honoring your edge, not pushing yourself over the edge to win a competition.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.