Yogasana recognised as a competitive sport in India

‘Work is currently on to develop a patented electronic scoring system for yogasana championships in India and globally’

Yogasana will be a competitive sport in the country, with the Ministries of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy), and Youth Affairs and Sports, in a joint press conference on Thursday announcing that they will now work at establishing yogasana as a competitive sports globally.

“The Central government took the decision to promote yogasana as a competitive sport after extensive consultation with stakeholders over the last 3-4 years. The National Board of Promotion and Development of Yoga and Naturopathy in 2019 recommended that yogasana be recognised as a competitive sport,” Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, said at the announcement.

He added that an exhaustive document containing rules, regulations and syllabus for yogasana competitions had been prepared, and the technical committee had also made a list of the asanas (compulsory and optional) after exhaustive research from traditional books on Yoga. “Work for automation of the scoring system to introduce objectivity in marking has been initiated and district/ State/ national/ world championships in yogasana are proposed in 2021. A pilot championship of traditional yogasana by the name of ‘National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship’ (virtual mode) is proposed to be organised in February 2021,” he said.

The Secretary said that work is currently on to develop a patented electronic scoring system for yogasana championships in India and globally, along with courses/ certification of coaches, referees, judges and directors for competitions, coaching camps for players, and broadcast-friendly packaging of the sports into leagues, shows and competitions.

Speaking at the conference Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State, Youth Affairs and Sports, said that every sport had emerged from some region or country and India had already brought to the world the beauty and usefulness of this ancient tradition, which has now evolved into competitive sports with the final aim of making yogasana an Olympic event.

Minister of Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik added that yogasana as an Olympic event would create a widespread opportunity for expanding awareness of Yoga and its myriad health benefits. “Several countries over the years have embraced yoga. The Central government is promoting yoga as a competitive sport within the country, with an aim to bring awareness about yoga, its benefits and spiritual background,” he said.

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