by on November 26, 2022  in Health / Yoga /
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Yoga: a brief introduction

In ancient times, yoga was a practice to achieve spiritual peace. Monks and priests who followed it did so solely for its perceived philosophical & religious benefits. During those times, it was practiced by a few people in particular areas of the world. Recently, however, yoga has become an increasingly popular activity with a much larger and diverse demographic. The reasons cited by these “yogis” are just as diverse.


The conflict

Two thousand years ago, no one did yoga for its physical benefits. Things are not the same today. Gyms across the country offer yoga classes or memberships, which are being rebranded as a fitness activity. This has complicated matters, with little consensus on what yoga is classified as. While there is no doubt that it used to be merely a religious or spiritual practice, today, it is much more than that. Many argue that since it has a more physical focus, it should be classified as a Sport. Others, however, argue that yoga’s uncompetitive nature pushes it out of the realm of sport.


The consensus

One must first elaborate on what “sport” really means to understand and solve this issue. According to most dictionaries, sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” No, don’t go back to reread it! We’re here to break it down for you, and we’ll do so by dividing it into three parts.

The first part argues that a sport must be an athletic activity. This means that much like basketball or football, yoga’s focus must be on the physical aspects over the mental. Yoga does fulfill that requirement, and if you want to disqualify yoga for not being physical enough, you will also have to disqualify Chess. Since Chess is recognized globally as a sport, yoga should be too. After all, you can’t do yoga mentally, can you?

The next part elaborates that the activity must require skill or physical prowess to be considered a sport. Yoga fulfills this pretty quickly. Have you ever tried yoga? The positions are complex, and the techniques needed to hold them could go over an amateur’s head. The complexity of yoga also qualifies it across the second part of the definition.

The last part, and probably most difficult, is that sports if OFTEN of a competitive nature. This is an aspect where yoga cannot win since there are no winners or losers in yoga. Since most sports are competitive, you can’t blame those who argue yoga should not be a sport since it is not competitive.

The answer to whether yoga is a sport will be argued upon for many years. One must recognize both arguments, but we cannot deny that yoga is catching on very quickly among people. Whether you recognize it as a sport or not, one thing is sure: Yoga is here to stay.

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