Yogasana is now officially a competitive sport!

We all know that yoga is great for health, but now, there is an opportunity to compete officially in yoga asanas after the Indian sports ministry has formally recognised it as a competitive sport.

The government of India is planning to include yogasana in the Khelo India School and University Games. For this, 51 medals in four events and seven categories have been proposed.

An International Yogasana Sports Federation was earlier formed in November 2020 with Baba Ramdev as its President and Dr HR Nagendra as the secretary general, which came up with the recommendations.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Shripad Naik, Minister of AYUSH (Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy Unani Siddha Homoeopathy), made the announcement.

“Yogasana has been a competitive sport for a long time. But it has to be recognised by the Government of India so that it becomes an official and recognised competitive sport. Today is a big day, we are launching it formally as a competitive sport and I am sure it will go a long way,” Rijiju said at the launch.

“Till now it wasn’t recognised but now that it has come under us, the Sports Ministry will start by providing the NYSF with financial support to make their annual training and calendar. It’s popularity will no doubt increase in India and we will include it in the Khelo India School and University Games,” he added.

A National Yogasana Sport Federation of India has been established to preserve and develop yoga as a competitive sport. This will help to encourage yoga, spread awareness about its advantages and elevate physical and mental wellbeing.

Artistic yogasana (single and pair), traditional yogasana, rhythmic yogasana (pair, free flow/group yogasana), team championship and individual all round-championship are the events proposed for competitive yoga asanas.

A pilot championship called the National Individual Yogasana Sport Championship has been proposed for February 2021. This will be followed by district, state, national and World Championships.

AYUSH, Union tourism and culture minister Shripad Naik explained the reason behind making yogasana a competitive sport officially:

“The reason behind making yoga a competitive sport is to encourage its practice and to help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the people. Having yogasana as a part of international events like Olympics etc would provide an opportunity to spread the awareness of Indian yoga and its innumerable health benefits.”