India, sports, Yoga

Yoga is now a national priority sport. Can it go international?

Call it ‘yogic karma’ or ‘just desserts’ but yoga is now a sports discipline in the ‘priority’ category.

The sports ministry is to make yoga a ‘sports event’.

Yoga postures Bhagaritasana.intro.

Yoga postures Bhagaritasana.intro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Yoga Federation of India, recognised by the Indian Olympic Association , is the main beneficiary of this extraordinary decision by the Narendra Modi sarkar.

Aims and objectives of the Yoga Federation:

  • To promote, encourage, popularize, standardize and supervise Yoga in the Country.
  • To encourage the formation of State Yoga Associations in the country.
  • To arrange and supervise the Yoga Championships, Camps, Seminars and other Contests.
  • To arrange, regulate and if necessary finance visits of the National Yoga Team in Asian Yoga Championship and World Yoga Championship. .
  • To arrange, regulate and if necessary finance visits of the National Yoga team.
  • To perform all such others acts as may seem to the Federation to be relevant and conducive to the attainment of the aims/objectives of the Federation.

Interestingly, yoga does not meet any of the criteria of being a priority. A discipline has to be a part of the Olympics, Asian or Commonwealth games to fall under this listing.

Yoga postures Catushpadapitham

Yoga postures Catushpadapitham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yoga may now be included in the National Games.

Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary in Sports Ministry, denied that the move was on communal lines.

He said:

“It’s a tradition. People across the religion have been practising Yoga. It’s high time that Yoga is seen as sport.”

Yoga Federation of India (YFI) secretary general, Ashok Kumar Aggarwal, was jubilant.

He said:

“Winners in national and zonal championships will get grace marks. With the ministry including it as a sport, yoga practitioners will benefit as they will become eligible for jobs under sports quota. We are eying an Olympic entry in the near future. We have asked the national federations to liaise with their respective Olympic associations to push for the inclusion of yoga in the Olympics.”

Yoga postures Bhujangasana

Yoga postures Bhujangasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The YFI conducts National Yoga Championships in the following four events every year:

  1. National Yogasana Competition
  2. National Artistic Yoga Competition
  3. National Artistic Pair Yoga Competition
  4. National Rhythmic Yoga Competition.

As per the YFI website, the following is the description of the above events:

Artistic Yoga consists of presentation of various asanas by male/female including forward and backward bending, balancing, supine and prone lying, sitting postures etc. performed in all four directions with music. It is synchronization of body movement with music (without break).

Artistic Yoga Pair consists of presentation of various asanas including forward and backward bending, balancing, supine and prone lying, sitting postures etc. of competitors choice including pyramid making, performed in all four directions with music.

The pair will consist of either both the girls or both the boys or a boy and a girl.

Both the participants will perform, two different postures at a time. Performing same postures will be a disqualification.

The number of postures performed shall be 8-10 of competitors choice.

Body touch is allowed in the competition.

Making of pyramid will be given preference.

Synchronization of body movements with music will be given preference.

Time duration for the presentation will be 120 – 150 seconds.

Rhythmic Yoga is known as pair yoga. The pair may consists of either both the boys or both the girls.

Rhythmic Yoga is the presentation of various asanas to be performed in all four directions.

The pair should perform the same postures together.

Body touch between two participants is not allowed.

There should be perfect synchronization of body movements with the music.

With yoga a sport and no longer merely a form of exercise, can we expect a Yoga Team League soon for television audiences?


I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation. I am also the author of four books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, IPL Vignettes, Poems: An Anthology, and It's a Petting Sport---all available on Amazon Worldwide.


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