Bikram Yoga an Olympic sport ?

Not sure what to make of this one. Apparently Yoga is going competitive in the US, and is being promoted by none other than our own Bikram Chowdhary and his wife. ! But since the essence of Yoga is completely internal, how can you judge a Yogi ? Apparently Mrs Chowdhary knows as she is the judge and the promoter both.
Would you put brain sensors on to see if there are truly alpha waves being emitting (or whichever wave is emitted when the Buddhist Monks are in deep meditation). Or do people see yoga now as form of gymnastics? I would have thought that competition is the antithesis of Yoga
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/19/fashion/19fitness.html?th&emc=th

10 Responses to “Bikram Yoga an Olympic sport ?”

  1. Sir,
    I find comfort in your intent that competition is the antithesis of Yoga.
    Yog as we have known is the connector of mind body and soul and also that it is a form of spiritual and religious activity(surya namaskar).
    Hybrid(ing) Yoga as a physical fitness form and personal training is a concept for a good commercial enterprise and a franchisee.
    Vinod Agarwal – Yoga no copyright issue here and no Patenting, free for all.

  2. Hitika says:

    had never thought something as pure and individualistic as YOGA would go commercial and competitive!!
    And its harder to imagine what will be the parameters for judging people!
    Well, one can’t really blame anyone when two of our own people are gaga over the whole thing..moreover, they are the ones building this bit by bit!
    Can’t comprehend what went through their minds to be actually thinking this way and denting one of India’s most priced possession ….THE YOG.

  3. Shantanu Mishra says:

    American Psyche
    They want to turn everything into a money making opportunity.
    I predict a reality TV based show on YOGA coming up very soon on American television.

  4. ms says:

    mr kapur, bikram yoga is very popular in the west where some aerobic activity is required of any excercise regime! traditional yoga is not exciting enough for these fitness fanatics. ta-ichi is also seen as a geriatric past time. so, anything which guarantees buckets and buckets of sweat is deemed the most effective. meditation is too introspective and not one to encourage social contact. the very purpose of yoga and its definition is now lost in “mist of time”!

  5. Deepak R says:

    Shekhar that reminds me of the work the David Lynch does through his foundation. You may find it interesting to watch this series on ‘Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain’ that he is actively promoting. He himself being a well known Transcendental Meditation adopter, brings together a Quantum Mechanics expert, a well known brain researcher to evangelise the benefits of TM. In this experiment they actually get a person’s brain waves measured before and after TM on the stage πŸ™‚
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8TFcLgu5Ow
    While there is an obvious practised pitch here, and this is linked with pushing TM adoption further, the subject is most interestingly dealt with. David’d personal transformation draws obvious interest for many.

  6. Deepak R says:

    As with does Bikram Yoga fit in with Olympics. My initial reaction is one of puzzelment like yours. However it is also true –
    Eventually many sports people (and people in other fields) come to a point where they find their competition is not with the others. The competion to excel is within. To exceed limits is a journey within oneself. It may occur in the context of externally setup confrontation, commercially funded and visually rich platforms like olympics. The competition is still within oneself. That need to excel is one of the primary instincts we as human beings use to sharpen that internal dialogue. To connect with ourSelves.
    And Bikram yoga essentially a physically challenging one does operate at the level of bringing the body and mind into state of stillness, for integration with the spirit and beyond. While its physicality, control and precision maybe lend itself to be judged from the standpoint of a sporting event, its impact at a personal level does not need an external judge though.
    Afterall the guru and the shishya are ultimately one and the same. The one who performs is you and the one who judges the performance as well is within you.

  7. brahmastra says:

    There is nothing wrong in having it as a competitive sport in the olympics. I guess it would be judged plainly on the basis of physical agility and accuracy in performing the asanas.
    Heck, it has already taken a form of soft porn entertainment as seen in Shilpa’s Yoga and various DVDs in the western world. Hot babes doing downward dogs and bhujangasana..bring it on!!

  8. kavitha says:

    When the transparent, ethereal, fragrant nature of rose essence is altered to lend more ‘color’ to it – with artificial perfumes /additives – it undeniably loses its organic and sublime virtues to dilution. The diluted outcome, however beautiful it may be, may be savored as rose essence by the five senses, but missing the essential core. Can all red flowers be called a red rose? And even if it is called one, does it become one?
    What is the Chowdhary marketing machinery promoting – sporty-flavored Yoga or Yoga-flavored sport? Perhaps the new concoction calls for its renaming?…lest the practice of authentic Yoga gets adopted over time as a less pristine endeavor.

  9. Cinda says:

    May as well make sex an olympic sport while they are at it…how do you judge such a thing, isn’t it really about the individual experience?
    go figure…

  10. pragzz says:

    Can’t say that I’m a huge fan of this Bikram fellow. Good on him for taking Yoga to the west, but he’s become so westernized in the process too. Patenting yoga is ridiculous, and criticizing anyone who teaches yoga for free is simply immature.
    The whole point of Yoga (as in the name) is to unite mind, body and soul, and in the process forget the self. I think he’s forgotten the essence of it all…

Leave a Reply