Yoga Gets Competitive
Proponents want the spiritual practice to be an Olympic sport
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2009 11:07 AM CST
Master Saumik Bera of Real Yoga demonstrates a Yoga pose in a capsule of the giant observation wheel also known as the Singapore Flyer on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, in Singapore.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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(Newser) – Yoga as an Olympic sport? It could happen, if two leaders in the field have their way. The creators of Bikram yoga brought yoga championships to the US, but many practitioners say the very idea of competition in yoga is antithetical to the core tenets of the practice. After all, as proponent Rajashree Choudhury tells the New York Times, “We are not trying to judge any kind of spirituality when they are out there.”

Rather, competitors are judged on execution of the poses—all of which are based on the Bikram yoga established by Choudhury and her husband. As for their Olympic quest, “Most of the people I talk to think it’s very silly,” one yoga studio director says—and even Choudhury concedes, “A lot of work needs to be done before we really get into it, but this is our dream.”