13
Jul
08

Yoga Is A Competitive Sport (True or False)

When you live in Montclair, yoga’s one of those things you might do – like taking a long walk or going over to the coffee shop.  Some folks are more devoted or competitive than others, and that seems fine.

Classes always feel like a calm oasis.  Our local spot is Mountain Yoga (map), which welcomes real yogis and forever-amateurs like me.  If you want to drive a little, another nice studio is Piedmont Yoga (map).

Yet all is not calm in yoga paradise.  There’s tension brewing among yoga practitioners, who are arguing about whether yoga should be a competitive sport.  You can see all the chi or life force getting used up.

Why debate this now?  Yoga will be a demonstration sport during the Beijing Olympics.  The idea is that agility, stamina, strength and other physical skills can be rewarded through several asanas or poses that are practiced in Bikram-style hot yoga studios around the world.

Many yogis feel torn apart.  Over at Yoga Journal, one person declared: “To take the inner work of yoga and place judgment in the hands of something external seems to be the opposite of what yoga is. This competition simply illustrates the growing chasm between Bikram and traditional yogic practice. I can’t say I support it.”

At least Ashhtangas could joke they were the best competitive style:  “We felt Ashtanga was a natural choice, with its predetermined sequence and various series of practice. Iyengar was too slow for TV, Bikram yoga too revealing, Anusara yoga too touchy-feely, and Vinyasa, well, too free-form” said an official.

The reactions depend on which Yoga you practice – a lot like how religions declare “their world views” to the exclusion of others.  This strikes me as the ultimate irony, since yoga’s about acceptance!

Advertisements

1 Response to “Yoga Is A Competitive Sport (True or False)”


  1. July 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    There’s an interesting discussion on “competitive yoga” on the bikram yoga social network: http://www.bikramfinder.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


July 2008
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Welcome to Montclair, Oakland

We live in the city yet are invaded by nature - or perhaps it's the other way around. Stop by often, and find out what's interesting to 94611 denizens.


%d bloggers like this: