From: "Swami Shankarananda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: [worldyogachampionship] First World Championships Challenge Yoga Karma is not yoga
> Yoga Sport and Yoga Championship must be. Spiritual Competiton not
> asanas like gymnastics. We don't want any yogasanas competition. In
> the yoga competition we need look: 1 point for Asanas, 1 point for
> pranayama, 1 point for dharana, 1 point for dhyana, 1 point for
> maitri, 1 point for spiritual inteligence, 1 point for
> relajation, 1 point for tola yoga, 1 point for
> excution, 1 point fo rspirituality. This is yoga.
> Asanas is not yoga
> Swami Shankarananda
> First World Championships Challenge Yoga Karma
> Never ever looked at Yoga as a sport.
> LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Muscles rippled, heads
> appeared in impossible places and the sweet smell of
> incense wafted in the air as the first World Yoga Championship ever
> staged in the United States got off to a mind-boggling start on
> Some 70 contestants limbered up for a four-day pose
> off in a contest aimed both at challenging the concept
> that competition is anathema to the ancient spiritual practice of
> yoga, and laying the groundwork for yoga to become an Olympic event.
> "Yoga doesn't mean just sitting and meditating and
> eating health foods," said championship organizer and
> "hot yoga" guru Bikram Choudhury at the Los Angeles Convention Center,
> where the event is taking place.
> "There have been yoga championships in India for
> hundreds of years. Competitions have also been held in
> Japan, Uruguay, Brazil. Argentina and Italy,"
> Choudhury told Reuters.
> "It is a combination of body-building, Miss World, Mr. Universe and
> gymnastics," he added.
> The very notion of a yoga competition has disturbed
> the karma of some U.S. yoga enthusiasts, who bristle
> at the concept of selling what they consider an
> essentially mind-healing way of life.
> But Choudhury, a former multiple Indian Yoga Champion
> who is as short on humility as he is long on ambition,
> shrugs off the critics.
> Competition, he says "serves the higher purpose of
> inspiring people to take up the health-promoting
> practice of yoga ... The time is right for a show that
> puts yoga in the spotlight."
> The four-day championship and Yoga Expo is the
> culmination of a dream for Choudhury, who has exported
> his Beverly Hills-based Bikram Yoga method worldwide
> in the past two decades.
> His copyrighted 26 pose sequence, carried out in a
> room heated to 105 degrees, have brought him gold
> watches and Rolls-Royces as well as a string of
> celebrity clients including John McEnroe, Madonna and
> former NBA star Kareem Abdul Jabbar who value its
> therapeutic properties.
> "It saves people's lives. It is a creation better than
> the Taj Mahal, antibiotics, Apollo 11 and computers together,"
> Choudhury said.
> Practitioners of all forms of yoga are taking part in
> the championships. They will be judged (by experts
> flown in from India) on grace, proportion,
> flexibility, endurance and balance for five compulsory
> poses and two optionals carried out in three minutes.
> The winner will receive a two-week trip to the country
> of their choice and $3,000 in cash.
> "Competition is a medium in which you can explore your dynamic skill.
> The sport and the mind is not in competition. The competition is about
> the body only," said Professor P.S. Das, a Calcutta-based yoga and
> physical therapy consultant who is one of the judges.
> The next stop for Choudhury is the Olympics.
> "Why not yoga at the Olympics?. I'm told you need to
> have at least 8 countries competing for an event to be admitted. Now
> we have 20 countries," he said