So, There Is Going to Be a Yoga Olympics. . .

Ashley Stern
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What are you doing for Yoga Day this June? How about the Yoga Olympics? Recently, Yoga Minister Shripad Yesso Naik announced, “We are thinking about having an Olympic-type yoga competition in Deli this year for two days before June 21.” Exciting, right?!
 
June 21st, or Worldwide Yoga Day, was internationally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December of 2014. The address by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi included the following description of yoga and its importance: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old … It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature.” While a yoga practice is open to all people, it is also a part of India’s history and culture.
 
It is interesting that this “Olympic style” competition is focused on bringing yoga to the masses when so much effort has recently been put forth to reclaim yoga as a part of India’s history.
 
The reason for this new competition is to bring yoga to a new generation. The yoga games are a tactic to interest young people who have not previously tried it.
 
The addition of yoga to the Olympic games has been discussed in recent years, but still seems to be in the distant future. However, this competition may be the first step toward adding yoga to the summer Olympics. There have been different competitions across India in the past, but this event is the first yoga competition with official endorsement and support of the Indian Government.
 
The 2016 competition will be composed of state teams formed out of smaller village contests. The practitioners will be judged on how each performs their surya namaskar asanas (AKA Sun Salutations). The event is still being planned, but promises to add to 2016’s International Yoga Day.
 

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Ashley Stern

A Wisconsinite at heart, Ashley is currently a student working on her masters in creative writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s a writer, a reader, traveler, a nerd, and a lover of life. Ashley is new to yoga and developing her practice from her student flat. She drinks a lot of tea and even more coffee. She’s a dog person, wears lots of purple, and believes in Laini Taylor’s wise words, “Cake as a way of life.”

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