Rajashree Choudhury and her husband, Bikram Choudhury, creator of Bikram Yoga, are enthusiastic about establishing yoga as a competitive sport in the United States. According to The New York Times, Mrs. Choudhury has established two nonprofit organizations, the United States Yoga Federation and the World Yoga Foundation, and has been staging regional competitions throughout the United States that will culminate in a national championship competition. The ultimate purpose is to enable yoga to qualify as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Not all yoga community members believe that competitive yoga is beneficial, although the practice has existed in India for several years. Those against competition argue that it is egoistic; that it implies that the most physically gifted are somehow “more yogic” than others; and that it focuses only on the physical and detracts from the spiritual heart of yoga.
To learn more about competitive yoga, go to www.yogacup.com.