yoga championships?

Mary Elizabeth wrote in the previous post that she “can’t help but think that the emphasis on asanas has contorted not only many bodies, but also our minds, and has encouraged narcissism on and off the mat.”

A yoga instructor in this article states:

“‘Anybody who doesn’t believe it’s a sport should come take a yoga class,’ said yoga instructor Robyn Riconosciuto, who attended the championships to support some of her students who were competing, ‘There’s balance, grace and athleticism. I think they deserve recognition for the strength they have.’”

You know what type of yoga championship I’d like to see?  One where people are sitting in meditation:

without twitching and picking their feet after two minutes..

not looking for a wall to support themselves after one minute;

not picking the lint off their yoga pants…

not picking at their cuticles…

not jumping when someone coughs, a door is slammed, or a lawnmower starts up….

not looking around to see what other people are doing.

THAT would be a true yoga championship!

Do you have any other true tests?

5 thoughts on “yoga championships?

  1. I agree with you about the absurdity of asana championships but I think a sitting practice championship would ultimately be just as ridiculous. There was an article in Tricycle a few years ago which said something to the effect that there are some people who are sort of meditation idiot savants–able to sit in zen posture for hours at a time but unable to sit in a traffic jam without becoming angry. A friend of mine lived for a couple of years with a man she met at a Buddhist retreat. She was delighted when they first got together that she had met someone who took meditation seriously. He did meditate for hours a day, sitting in perfect stillness–but left all the housework to her and was verbally abusive to her when she complained. Except for how someone lives his/her life, there’s no real indicator–not doing the best asana, not sitting on a meditation cushion for hours–that ultimately gives any true sign of where a person is on their spiritual path.

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    1. oh, I agree…if something isn’t changing for you off the mat or the cushion, it’s not yoga or meditation.

      “but left all the housework to her and was verbally abusive to her when she complained”

      Gary Kraftsow said something to the effect that if you’re an asshole who meditates a lot, that just makes you a more focused asshole.

      or something like that…..;)

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      1. Lol, I have met a few of those. I remember listening to some people who had just finished a meditation retreat and all they could do was gossip about how annoying so and so was–I guess we’re all human:) On the other hand, the person I always look up to as really walking the talk never ever talks about it–he just lives it
        .

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  2. “…if something isn’t changing for you off the mat or the cushion, it’s not yoga or meditation…”

    That’s what I was gonna say. Can you answer the zen koan “Who are you?” with clarity AND demonstrate how this is in your life, not just on the mat or making quotes on your yoga/meditation blog. And the actions are more than just “oh well, I’m a vegan and I donate to charity once a month”.

    No. How is your life? How are your relationships? How are your interactions?

    Simon Borg Olivier (my first yoga teacher) likes to say that with yoga, we learn to relax while the body is under stress in various poses, and this is what we need to translate into our daily lives. When the shit hits the fan, where’s your mind?

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