The venerable tradition of yoga may be downdogging itself right into the realms of Olympic glory. The topic seems to have been debated and covered for as long as I’ve been writing about yoga. As yoga continues to evolve, it’s pretty much inevitable that it will enter daring new frontiers…and I’m quite positive that a lot of these new yoga frontiers piss a lot of people off.
Without a doubt, most of you have some sort of yoga-trend pet peeve–something that just drives you insane. This one’s been around for a while, but I, for one, sincerely dislike and shun anything having to do with animals and yoga, especially practicing together (although I did fall for this grumpy looking yoga cat once…). Can’t stand it…but I like to think my mind is open enough to realize that my love for good old-fashioned vanilla yoga just doesn’t get some people off…and I guess for some people that means they love to have their dog slobbering all over them and their mat. Okay, that seems really gross to me, but whatever.
I’m just not a big fan of niche yoga trends. However, here’s my bold declaration: I think I could really wrap my mind around enjoying yoga as an Olympic sport. Heck, I sit around half the day watching yoga videos on the Internet anyway, so why wouldn’t I get fired up to join millions of yoga fans, meditating in front of our TVs to some flawlessly executed yoga poses. Maybe we’d even do a little “chant” for our favorite yogi…I think that’s actually a yoga trend I could get excited about. I’m serious.
This snippet from an entertaining Wall Street Journal article explains perfectly why yoga may stand poised to take the Olympics by storm:
First, consider audience and reach. Yoga is not a marginal activity in 2012. Baseball, maybe; yoga, no. Where I live, it is easier to do yoga than get a haircut. You can find 10 studios within a 10-minute walk. Conversely, I need to charter a helicopter, three ferry boats and a space shuttle to play a round of golf. Yoga has become a lifestyle, a passion, an ongoing cultural conversation. People do it to get in shape, to relax, for spiritual centering or any number of personal reasons; participants are young and old, growing in numbers and increasingly male. Bring up yoga next time you’re at a dinner party. That will inhale the next half-hour. Then bring up the All-Star Game of any major sport. Crickets.
I think yoga will be an Olympic sport someday…and I think I’m going to like it.
For more on yoga’s quest for Olympic glory, check out USA Yoga’s website.