Gold medal in Yoga?

From meditation to competition

Yoga conjures up images of soft-lit candles, chanting, and nonjudgmental good vibes, so the idea of a yoga competition sounds about as ridiculous as the idea of competitive prayer. But who knew? There really is an international yoga championship (this year marked the sixth installment) and if organizers have their way, yoga will be an Olympic sport one day. “The men’s division, for the most part, looked like dudes doing yoga very well. But watching the women, all performing serenely daring stuff, was like staring at water getting poured from a pitcher very slowly. It was lyrical, majestic, composed. Legs folded behind heads, and heads appeared between legs, chin on the floor, after impossible backward bends. Yoginis folded into lotus, balanced on their knees, and shot their legs back while balancing on their arms, smiling all the time. I may have been dreaming but I swear I saw, during the youth competition, one girl draw into a bow, arch back, and place her toes in her mouth.”



Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.