Be A Good Sport, Yoga!

I despair at the idea that we now want to turn a 5,000-year-old spiritual system, seen in the words of the founder of Viniyoga, TKV Desikachar (an Indian guru who is still teaching today) as "the discipline of controlling the mind, rooted in ancient Vedic texts", into a competition on a par with figure skating and gymnastics... I feel even more depressed to hear that the egregious spread of any number of types of yoga has extended back to India itself, the home of yoga, where fashionable girls in Mumbai are taking it up for the first time because "Madonna does it".
Kathy Phillips in the Guardian Unlimited

Well I'm not as fussed as Phillips seems to be about people doing yoga for skewed reasons. Yoga works with an individual at whatever point that individual wishes to engage with it. Yet, IMHO, it also works outside what we are thinking or the stories that we tell ourselves, especially when we look back and see how the stories have changed over time.

Phillips serves up some classic sucker punches at other styles of yoga: Ashtanga Yoga takes a beating —although interestingly, not Iyengar. Hmmmm... It's really hard to judge a style by dropping in for a class or two because the rasa, the taste, of these teachings are savored over time and practice... But you know journalism: dabble, dabble, dabble: JUDGE... And styles are only as vibrant, helpful, and astute as the individual teacher respresenting the flava.

Anhyhow, Phillips' basic terror point —and motivation for writing the article— is the campaign to make yoga a sport in the Olympics (that's right!). However, the basic concerns expressed in Kathy Phillips' article are, as BCCY decries, "Right on."

(But the meme is ripe. A quote from today's entry in a geeky managment blog: "a sport like yoga". Good grief.)

posted by
Spiros Antonopoulos

TAGS — Olympics, sport, yoga

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