Olympic fever

I’ve lived mostly in balmy climates, from Hawaii to California, so winter sports are quite foreign to me. Luge? Biathlon? Curling? But I’ve also made Canada my home, and I’m riveted by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The snowboarding and alpine skiing events blow my mind, the way they require utter fearlessness about big air and breakneck speed. I’m also waiting for a Canada-Russia showdown in men’s hockey, the Canadian national obsession and a sport that requires every athletic skill known to mankind.

Sports competition is a fascinating display of mind-body control. Besides warfare and other life-or-death crises, few situations truly push humans to their limits: elite sports are an exception. Contact sports such as hockey and football take competition a step further: athletes are tested not only in scoring points but in fighting opponents doing their utmost to take you down.

Watching the Olympics reminds me of the laughable movement (mostly by Bikram and his followers) to make yoga a competitive sport and even an Olympic event. After all, the objective in sports is competition-day performance. In yoga, asana “performance” is not an end, but a means to mental and spiritual development. Yoga cannot be judged from the outside.

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6 thoughts on “Olympic fever

  1. If yoga comes to the Olympics, I will watch it. I wonder how many people who think it is laughable will watch anyway? And really Spy, will you be able to leave the television off?

    1. Thanks for posting a comment!

      1. I have a curious nature (and I am a spy) so I’d watch it for research, to keep up with the cultural zeitgeist 😉

      2. While I’d view the competitors with some skepticism (would a true yogi do this?), showcasing advanced asana to the general public would definitely obliterate the common notion that yoga is “easy” or “only stretching.”

      3. You’re right that the audience might be those already into yoga. Fine: Serious yoga practitioners can separate the various limbs of yoga. They can appreciate big, crazy poses while acknowledging that they’re not the crux of yoga. But for the mainstream audience that knows nothing about yoga, it just perpetuates the Western assumption that asana = yoga.

      You got me!

  2. I am the owner of this image of the Olympic rings. It is being used without my permission, please remove it from your site.

    1. Hello! I cited to your flickr account but realize that you’ve terminated it. Apologies for inadvertently posting your gorgeous image of the Olympic rings at Coal Harbour without formal consent. I’ve now removed the image per your request.

      Best,
      YogaSpy

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