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Yoga as an Olympic Sport? Not Such a Stretch to Some

It is possible that one day someone will win an Olympic gold medal for their mastery of the Half Lord of the Fishes?

For the uninitiated, HLotF is a yoga pose, one that involves a twist while seated. The name may seem amusing to people unfamiliar with yoga, but lots of people take it and its claims of health benefits seriously.

Warrior II poseSeriously enough that one nonprofit organization, USA Yoga, is seeking to become the governing body of the activity and elevate yoga asana (posture yoga) to an Olympic sport, as described in reports by the Associated Press (in The Washington Post) and Time magazine.

The 3-day National Yoga Asana Championship, hosted by USA Yoga, opens today in New York, as featured in this New York Times article. REI's product managers report growing demand for yoga clothing and gear. If you've tried it, what's been your experience with it? If you're curious about participating, consider reading the REI Expert Advice articles Getting Into Yoga and How to Choose Yoga Gear.

Can you imagine yoga in the Olympics? Hearing this proposal might cause some of you to wonder "What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-going on here?" (as Slim Pickens, as Taggart, uttered famously in the non-yoga epic Blazing Saddles)…

…but personally, I'm a fan of obscure Olympic sports. I like swimming, gymnastics and track and field (and dream of the Olympics someday having a hiking category), but I kind of enjoy watching handball, badminton and  rhythmic gymnastics once every 4 years, too. So why not yoga? It could possibly be in place by the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. I can hear it now: "U-S-A! Cow-Face-Pose!"

Posted on at 6:01 PM

Tagged: Olympic Games and Yoga

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jason foley

Ha, I thought that was the whole reason.!
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