So yoga is now officially a “competitive sport”

So yoga is now officially a “competitive sport”

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Indian government has officially recognised yoga as a competitive sport, and (if my trusty morning paper is to be believed) there are even more ambitious plans ahead for the “ancient discipline.”

Plans for yoga sporting leagues!

And ultimately yoga in the Olympics!

Here, if you think I’m making all this up, here you go :

Hindustan Times 18.12.20

My mind is officially boggled.

I am trying to figure out who would go watch a yoga sporting league match?

And would it even be called a match?

What are the rules?

Can you foul in yoga?

Can you be sent off?

Would there be umpires?


Who decides when a team/person has won?

On the plus side, I imagine the crowds at a yoga sporting league game/event would be very calm and well-behaved. No soccer hooligans. No beer-bottle chucking. No chanting.

I am intrigued by all the different categories for competitive yoga – artistic yoga, rhythmic yoga, free flow yoga…do these categories already exist and I have just never heard of them?

More worryingly, if everyone else out there is happily pursuing rhythmic yoga, have we somehow managed to choose the dullest yoga teacher on Planet Earth?

‘Cos sure as eggs is eggs, we don’t do anything remotely sexy like free flow yoga during our Zoom sessions…it’s all serious stretching and Surya Namaskars.

Whew. Exciting times ahead.

PS: Wikipedia says, and I quote :

“The idea of competitive yoga seems an oxymoron to some people in the yoga community.”


  1. Rekha Murty

    Competitive yoga is oxymoronic. Completely dissolves the philosophy of yoga. And which school will be in the running, considering you have a slew available. It’s commercialisation! I can only guess who is behind this…

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