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From ancient times, yoga has been referred to as a spiritual practice as it helps in combating all sorts of mental, physical & emotional issues. In the western world, people have started referring to yoga as a sports activity as just like any sports, it requires high-skill techniques & great strength. However, many yogis believe that yoga is a spiritual practice that is in no way fits under the sports discipline.
Many people wonder is yoga considered a sport as both of them are a physical activity & share some similar benefits but yoga not only involves physical aspect but also spiritual & philosophical aspects that are not present in sports. Sports are highly competitive whereas yoga doesn’t involve any kind of competition.
People who have seriously incorporated yoga practice in their life disagree with the people who consider yoga as sports suggest competition/ the race of winning 7 losing but yoga isn’t a competitive sports, it is a form of exercise that can help you experience eternal bliss. With yoga, one can achieve a balance in mind, body & soul.
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss whether yoga should be considered as a sport or not?
Nowadays, people have become more conscious about their overall health & fitness. In modern society, fitness is always associated with sports/ physical activities. However, due to growing awareness about yoga among contemporary people, they’ve now started associating fitness with yoga. It has been over thousands of years that yoga came in existence, and initially, it was only performed by yogis or monks to attain the spiritual & philosophical benefits. Nowadays, people are considering yoga as an athletic practice as it offers the same benefits as sports have. They don’t emphasize the spiritual aspect of yoga as it is preoccupied in contemporary people’s mind that yoga majorly helps in enhancing the fitness of their body.
Let’s understand the modern-day belief of yoga as sports:
To be able to understand the perspective of contemporary people, first, we need to understand what sport is. Sport in today’s world context is a competitive, leisure activity that is governed by sets of rules that decides victory or defeat. Participating in sports activities helps in achieving mental & physical fitness which can enhance your overall health. Just like yoga, sport is un-harmful to all living creatures & helps in transforming the body & the mind which is why nowadays people often associate yoga with sports.
Regular practice of yoga can help improving flexibility and reduce performance anxiety of the players. Most athletes practice yoga on a regular basis to improve their athletic performance. Practicing yoga before the sports event helps the players in achieving a mind-body connection & also reduce their anxiety level.
Now let’s consider yoga as a spiritual practice:
Yoga is a conventional spiritual practice that is performed over the centuries to unite the mind, body & soul. Unlike sports, yoga has nothing to do with defeat & winning and it helps in experiencing a sense of peace & joy. The yoga can transform the mind, body, and soul of a person which is why it is a spiritual practice.
Surely, yoga has come a long way but categorizing yoga into sports discipline isn’t quite accurate as yoga has spiritual value added to it which is not present in sports.
Considering all the factors, in my opinion, yoga shouldn’t be categorized merely as a sport as yoga is beyond any competitive. By practicing yoga, one can attain happiness and peace of mind along with fitness. Categorizing it as a sport will only highlight its physical and mental aspect and not its spiritual aspect which is why yoga shouldn’t be termed as a sport.