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Yoga

In India as well as in the Western World there are many interpretations of yoga. In Vedic religious tradition, yoga is seen as a manner of achieving a spiritual enlightenment through physical training, a way of living in harmony with your body and nature and finally as a therapy or regular gymnastics. But usually it is not associated with sport because it does not involve any competition. Whereas in India, where yoga tradition dates back  2 000 years, it is related to the Kumbhamela Hindu feast, that every three years gathers pilgrims, spiritual masters and yogis. Different schools and sects clash in discussion and display their achievements in yoga practice and pranajama (control over the breath). One of the Shiva's avatars, god Nataraj is the saint patron of this event, which reminds of ancient Olympic games. With time its competition rules have been codified, and now, the modern sport yoga, apart from athletic, artistic, and rhythmic competition, includes yoga asana, that consists of two sequences of six asanas each. Yogis, who participate in the contest, perform in different age categories, separately, in pairs or in groups. The technical aspect doesn't eclipse  the spiritual. In the official regulations by Yoga Federation of India we can find the following sentence: „while performing yoga positions the contestant should  show his/her happiness and spirituality”. It isn't distant from the instructions of the ancient Hindu masters, who placed happiness in reach of human possibilities.

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By  VNW