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Global momentum: the center recognizes yoga as a competitive sport


The government offered this Thursday the official recognition of yoga as a competitive sport, preparing the ground for the inclusion of the ancient discipline in the national, state and university championships that are organized in the country.

Yoga sports leagues along the lines of the Indian Super League, which is the professional soccer league, may also be introduced as part of an effort to increase the popularity of yoga. The ultimate goal of the government is to push for yogasana to be part of the Olympics.

Ayush and sports ministries have worked collaboratively to make it happen with the goal of spreading awareness of yoga, the benefits it offers, and the spiritual background of the discipline among young people. The ministries are also working together to ensure that yogasana is recognized as a competitive sport globally.

“Now that the government has formally declared yogasana a competitive sport, it will become part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s program. Khelo India initiative that will ensure that states work on the organization of sporting events, including yogasana, in an organized way, as happens with other sports ”, said Kiren Rijiju, minister of state for youth affairs and sports.

“Yoga has already been popular enough, so the next step was to recognize it as a competitive sport. The ultimate goal is to make it part of the Olympics. To begin with, a national traditional yogasana pilot championship was proposed in February next year, and later in the year there is a plan to hold a world Yogasana championship to be hosted by India, ”added the sports minister.

India also recently established the National Yogasana Sports Federation of India (NYSFI) for the development of yoga as a competitive sport.

Extensive consultations over the last 3-4 years preceded the official recognition of yoga as a competitive sport.

“The necessary work on this initiative has been underway for a long time, and this year, in August, the NYSFI was established for that purpose along the lines of other active sports federations in the country under the ministry of sports. In November this year, the sports ministry also formally recognized the federation, ”said Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Ayush’s ministry secretary.

Rijiju explained that, like other federations, NYSFI will now also be eligible for financial assistance from the sports ministry.

“Now that Yogasana has been formally declared a sport, your federation, like other national sports federations, will also count on financial help from the Ministry of Sports to prepare their annual training and calendar which will have an idea of ​​what they plan to organize during the next calendar year. We want to produce quality athletes who perform yogasanas, ”he said.

Experts in the field have prepared a comprehensive document containing the rules and regulations and the syllabus for yogasana competencies. The technical committee has also produced a detailed list of asanas, both mandatory and optional, from the traditional yoga literature.

Around 51 medals are proposed in four events and seven categories for the events to be held at the sub-junior, junior and senior levels for both men and women. Events include traditional yogasana, artistic yogasana, rhythmic yogasana, free-flow (group) yogasana, and full individual championship and team championship.

Experts are creating an information technology-enabled automation scoring system for these competitions to objectively score participants.

The government will also train and certify coaches, referees, judges and directors of these competitions. The Sports Association of India is trying to recruit such staff largely from the group of former and retired sportsmen in India.

“Training the athletes is one thing, but we will also train the technical team, which is equally important. Sports Authority of India is trying to recruit more retired Indian athletes in order to train, ”said Rijiju.

Naik said the mission was to create athletes and ultimately achieve Olympic success.

Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi, Director of the Morarji Desai National Yoga Institute, said: “Yogasana involves rigorous training and the poses are quite elaborate and must be performed with the correct technique. Many people, especially young people, are likely to come forward to participate now that a sport has been officially declared, especially those from the villages. It’s a good way to promote yogasana. “

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