Sports Ministry recognises Yogasana as competitive sport

Yoga symbol

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Thursday announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport, with an aim of enhancing interest in Yoga among people around the globe.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the competitions that will arise out of the recognition of Yogasana as a sport will enhance interest in Yoga among people around the globe. He also said that both ministries have been working together to establish Yogasana as a competitive sport.

"We are planning to include Yogasana as a sport discipline in Khelo India and in the University Games and we will also pitch it at the National Games but the aim and objective of any sport is to be included in Olympics and this is a beginning of a long journey," Rijiju declared in an official statement.

Minister of AYUSH Shripad Naik traced the origins of Yogasana competitions to the Indian Yoga tradition, where such competitions have been held for centuries. He said that they are still being conducted at multiple levels, but a strong and sustainable structure to impart national visibility to the competitions is yet to emerge.

The minister further said that the Government's decision to recognise Yogasana as a competitive sport comes after 3-4 years of wide consultations with the stakeholders of the Yoga sector.

Naik also said that Yogasana is an integral and important component of Yoga, which is psycho-physical in nature and popular across the globe for its efficacy in fitness and general wellness.

"Yogasana becoming a sport will also ensure new technologies and new strategies being inducted into the disciplines, to benefit our athletes and officials towards building fruitful and fulfilling careers in this field," said Naik

The secretary AYUSH gave a presentation and explained that the sports discipline of Yogasana is likely to have 51 medals in 4 events and 7 categories.

The proposed events for both men and women include Traditional Yogasana, Artistic Yogasana (Single), Artistic Yogasana (Pair), Rhythmic Yogasana (Pair), Free Flow/Group Yogasana, Individual All Round -- Championship and Team Championship

A pilot Yogasana Competition named National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship (Virtual Mode) will be held in early 2021.