In yesterday's New York Times, there was an article called "Is the Spirit of Competition in the Soul of Yoga?" It seems that the Choudhurys, the couple most famous for creating Bikram style yoga, are trying to promote yoga as a competitive sport here in the U.S.--with hopes that it will be included in the Olympics someday. Whhhhaaaaaaaaaat??
My favorite quote from the article is this:
“We are not trying to judge any kind of spirituality when they are out there,” Mrs. Choudhury said.
Well Mrs. Choudhury, that's good news. Could you imagine? Ten points for the perfect downward dog. Ten points for an excellently executed side crow. Five point deduction for the slightly spotted aura. Sorry, hon. You must work on your karma if you want to make the 2020 Olympic team.
This whole idea of yoga as a competive sport sends me spinning. Isn't yoga about INNER peace? Isn't the focus on what your body can do--not on what your body can do as compared to everyone else in the room? Doesn't this notion run counter to the entire premise of yogic practice?
As I sat in my kitchen enraged by this article, I realized that by taking this very deliberate step with my writing--the step towards becoming a published writer--I am treating my art the same way. Haven't I introduced competition and the marketplace into my world of quiet introspection and self exploration?
Most of you who are reading this blog are either seeking publication or are already published. So, how do you keep your zen and stay true to your art in the face of the realities of competition and the cut-throat realities of the marketplace?
I guess it's all just a matter of focus and intention--cultivating an ability to keep the art and the marketing separate. Thoughts?