Betty, your dancer pose isn’t cutting the mustard. Yoga Comps? Have we gone crazy?

After years of many high end athletic competitions, I like the fact that a yoga practice is a humble practice.  In yoga, I don’t feel I have to compete with anyone else. I move at my pace, doing what I want, and what feels right with gentle guidance.   I don’t have to compete with ‘flexible Fiona’ and her binds or ‘headstand Hank’ and his inversion obsession.  I can just let go of that competitive nature that naturally sits inside.  This is the very reason why I can’t wrap my head around Yoga Competitions.    A competition, by nature, is an event that pits one against others in battle, for an opportunity to crown one a supreme being.  Why anyone would want to be ‘judged’ on their yoga poses? Check this video out of the 2012 World Champion.

2012 World Champion of Yoga: http://youtu.be/lcpcqdzGcKQ

Yes, he’s isn’t hard on the eyes, and has the body of a God, and does incredible yoga poses, but why, is he in a yoga competition against others? Surely he knows he’s ‘HOT’ and is a YOGA MAGNET.  Did he really need to stroke his ego by going into a competition?  Is he now an endorsement laden poster boy?  I wonder if they do blood tests to ensure he isn’t doping! (The travesty of it all! )

What about the other ‘slackers’ in the competition?  How did they feel when they didn’t ‘win’?  Isn’t yoga about all coming together in harmony in a non-competitive, non-judgmental environment that is as much about the ‘inner self ‘  as it is the ‘physical’ practice?   How can one ‘judge’ that? Instantly, I am drawn to think of the ‘behind the scenes’ with catty karma barbs being shared and can’t wait to write the next season of Yoga Town.  Yes, season two is in the works.  Yoga Competitions will be at the heart of the matter!

What’s you view of yoga competitions?  Write a comment and let me know!

 

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One Comment

  1. Jenifer
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Our studio culture is an egalitarian, non-competitive environment.

    That being said, I don’t see the competitions as inherently problematic. I have never done a yoga competition, but in other sports/activities, I like to compete with others and against myself. I don’t feel pressured to “win” and I don’t feel bad if I don’t win. Instead, it’s a learning process for me, as well as a lot of fun.

    When I compete, I tend to prep better, which brings a different discipline into my life — and I learn from that process. I also see competition as an opportunity to see what I don’t know, or where my weaknesses are in a given sport (or strategy, like chess). By losing, I’m actually gaining a more valuable experience than by winning.

    The other element of competition that I enjoy is meeting people who are also competitors. We have a lot in common, the competition is usually fun and good natured (there are always poor sports, of course, but plenty of good ones!), and we often are friends long after the competition time — swapping training techniques, or strategic processes, or just good equipment to try, or people from whom to get coaching, or just “how awesome that you got 10 kipping chin ups today! awesome training!”

    The reality is that sports — and competition — give us a lot of opportunity for learning.

    So long as our self esteem isnt’ caught up in winning — our ego isn’t caught up — I think it’s a good thing overall.

    Or perhaps that’s just because I practice “sportsmanship.”

    My father always told me — no matter how good you get, there will *always* be someone better than you. Even if you hold the world record, that only made it possible for someone else ot break it later . . . you paved the way for them to be better, by inspiring them, challenging the ideas of ‘what is possible.’ And, there will always be people who are not as good at something as you are. And your job, as a sportsman, is to encourage them, share your knowledge with them, and give them tips and tricks to try. Encourage them, enjoy their company, and value what they bring to the table as teammates and competitors.

    As such, I think a yoga competition would be fun at this level. But, I’m not interested in competing myself. :)

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