Yoga and The Summer Olympics in London
The news these days is dominated by the Presidential campaign and the Olympics. I tend to choose Olympics news over the political race. I find it more uplifting. The Olympians inspire me to hold plank longer and lower down to chattanranga more slowly. I wonder what inspires them, and I hope it’s yoga.
For me, this is how yoga and the Olympics mix: inspiration and mindfulness. But others look for more of a connection. Every few years, there is new talk about of the possibility of Yoga becoming an Olympic event: The United States Yoga Federation (Yoga USA), an organization led by Rajashree Choudhury (the wife of Bikram founder, Bikram Choudry), has stated that their goal is yoga’s inclusion in the 2016 Games (http://yoga.about.com — June 2012)
Let’s think about it. Yoga has eight limbs, of which, Asana, or the postures, is only one. Some argue it is the least important limb. But Asana is the obvious Olympic limb. What about Pranayama or Dhyana? Who will medal in Samadhi?
Think of it. Of course Olympians use yoga to build strength and flexibility, but more of them use it to prepare their minds for the grueling challenges of competition.
Which of the eight limbs is your gold-medal event?
- Yama – Universal morality
- Niyama – Personal observances
- Asanas – Body postures
- Pranayama – Breathing exercises, and control of prana
- Pratyahara – Control of the senses
- Dharana – Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana – Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
- Samadhi – Union with the Divine