By Omar Lewis ... via Kxan.com
The Olympic games draw millions to watch their favorite sports and cheer on athletes to bring home the gold. Some yoga enthusiasts say their favorite sport should be added to the competition, too.
Yoga is considered a mental and even spiritual exercise that goes beyond the physical aspect. Shelby Autrey who owns B-free Yoga Studio in Austin would even go as far as to say that yoga saved her life.
But to other yoga enthusiasts, like James Gossett and Susan Anderson, it is also about competition. They’re hoping one day their poses will bring them Olympic gold.
To them, it seems like a logical next step, because they already compete against thousands from around the world.
During these international competitions, they’re given three minutes to show their best moves and are scored and judged "like gymnastics on their precision their technique on their exact form and even that element of grace", explains Anderson.
"We could all do postures in a yoga studio and pull them off pretty perfectly," said Gossett. "But once you get into that setting it does add a level of pressure."
It’s that pressure that Shelby Autrey says goes against everything she thinks yoga stands for. "It’s about compassion its about mindfulness," she said. "It's about awareness. And it's not about what something looks like or judging someone else."
But Gossett says the added element of competition actually makes his yoga practices more intense. “All of a sudden I’m able to put my leg behind my head,” he said.
He explains that the competition inspires him to do more. “I wouldn’t be doing half of the stuff I’m able to do now if I weren’t doing competitions," he added.
The Yoga Federation has petitioned the International Olympics Committee to bring poses like "the downward dog" to the Olympic mat. And it could happen. Remember the little game called Tug of War?
It was played by Olympians from 1900 to 1920. And rope-climbing was an Olympic sports from 1896 to 1932.