Could Yoga Be Considered As A Sport?
For the past 3,500 years, people have been using Yoga to relieve of stress, stretch their body and become unified with their body and soul. While sport is considered to be a physical activity where you have an opponent that you try beat, yoga does not include that competitive form. So, can it be considered a sport? And what is the difference between other sports and yoga?
It does require strength
Yes, like tennis or swimming, it requires you to have a lot of strength and skills, as you will have to endure many different postures and movements. While the majority of these are performed slowly without too much effort, it may happen that you use more demanding movements. It all depends on the style, your knowledge and the goal of the exercise. Yoga contains several branches: karma, mantra, bhakti, gyana, raja and hatha. Hatha is the only branch that is responsible for physical movements. So we can conclude that beside the movement and flawless postures, you need to be “one” with your breath, body and mind. Unlike traditional sports that place body in front of mind, yoga does the opposite. In order to be in harmony with your body, you need to understand and calm your mind before you can achieve a good movement.
What this say is that it stresses the importance of spiritual perception, rather than physical one. Once you learn to focus on yourself, you will know how to deal with external situations and factors. Naturally, you can make a competition in yoga whatsoever since you have many challenging movements and postures that you need to master, though the primary goal of it not the competition. Basically, yoga can be a sport, especially because of the fact that you can see many events that promote yoga competition. This is more like a dance or gymnastics, but it could be a form of sport.
How to win then and could it be sport?
Well, this is a bit harder to answer as the focus is on the improving yourself, but not being better than someone else. If we put aside for a second all that we know about yoga, we could say that it could be sport where you go of the Self, through the Self, to the Self. It means you are competing with yourself rather than a physical opponent. Yes, it can offer the physical form of competition but if offers more than just a gold medal. When you sum all in all, it becomes natural to say that, even though it can be a sport, it is rather a type of training that improves your sport’s abilities. It could be a sport if we could have competed with ourselves!