Yoga Sports originated in India and Yoga competition is part of India’s rich history. But Yoga Competitions is not Asanas Competition. It is said that the yoga asana (posture) practice originated over 5,000 years ago. Yoga Competitions have been taking place for 2,000 years now, albeit in a more philosophical and spiritual form with other yoga angas. Today, it is estimated that the yoga competition in its current form began about 200 years ago.
Yoga is spiritual education. “Spiritual” does not refer to any particular religion; rather it refers to the spirit, which consists of feelings and emotions. The mastery of the physical techniques of yoga is valued only if the human being achieves dominion over his mind and spirit. A sport is a regulated game in which there exists competition between two or more persons. Yoga Sport establishes whether or not a certain human being is competent physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, ethologically, ecologically, and culturally. Yoga Sport is a lesson in life itself which is a competition in every instance. However, the most important thing to remember in Yoga Sport competitions is that they are games, where one must achieve control over his emotions, feelings, and passions in the face of stress. The greatest Spiritual Intelligence obtains more points than any other evaluated category in the competition, such as flexibility, strength resistance, and balance. Judges determine Spiritual Intelligence by evaluating the Affective Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence of the competitor. Affective Intelligence is one’s ability to adapt to the feelings of those around him. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to adapt to one’s own emotions. Yoga Sport develops these forms of intelligence within the context of competition where the environment could generate imbalance, dissatisfaction, and stress. Competition motivates the competitor to achieve personal transcendation and spiritual training, which ultimately serves him in conquering the obstacles life places before him on a daily basis. Ultimately, Yoga Sport uses competition of physical yoga techniques as a means to a spiritual end.
Divisions of Yoga Sports
Divisions of Yoga Sports Yoga Sport is divided into four styles:
- Artistic Yoga
- Artistic Pair Yoga
- Rhythmic Yoga
- Free Flow Yoga Dance
- Open Category Yogasanas
1. Yogasanas deals with the execution of asanas which are to be performed at the competitor’s maximum of flexibility, balance, alignment, and resistance. It evaluates the perfect execution of asana, displaying the perfect alignment. It also evaluates the perfect execution of Pranayama (control of energy), and appropriate breathing techniques, or Swara Yoga. Other factors that are evaluated include achievement of Pratihara (introspection), Dharma (concentration), and if possible the achievement of Dhyana (meditation). Spiritually, the competitor should not be nervous or altered; rather he should feel relaxed, harmonious, content, and happy, which causes him to gain more points in the competition.
2. Artistic Yoga is composed of kramajis, or series of yoga postures that create an uninterrupted cascade of asana. Qualities of artistic yoga include use of music, costume, good taste, natural art, rhythm of execution, and rhythm of breath work. The series should be executed to music chosen with good taste. The postures are united with the use of intercalary postures, being the ones that create a passage between the two postures with the least weight displacement and the least time possible. Dance may also be introduced as a means of moving between postures
3. Artistic Pair Yoga, as with Artistic Yoga, incorporates dance and yoga postures performed by two participants. The asanas displayed should be different in nature, and should support each other.
4. Rhythmic Yoga is executed in pairs and is trained with the use of a mirror to ensure the synchronization of the postures. The postures ought to be executed by each individual to the same degree and at the same time. Rhythmic yoga preserves the primary qualities of Artistic Yoga.
5. Free Flow Yoga Dance consists of a group of 5 athletes, incorporating various asanas connected by dance movements, preferably around some theme. The asanas may be performed together or separately.
6. Open Category Yogasanas, as with Yogasanas, deals with the execution of asanas which are to be performed at the competitor’s maximum of flexibility, balance, alignment, and resistance. Open Category Yogasanas allows competitors to choose their best 7 favourite poses and perform them as part of the competition.