Hyderabad: The ministry of AYUSH and the ministry of youth affairs and sports announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport at a joint press conference held by the Union minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik and the Union minister of state for youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijjju in New Delhi on 17 December.

Mr. 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 today at multiple levels but a strong and sustainable structure to impart national visibility to the competitions is yet to emerge. He further said that the government decision to recognise Yogasana as a competitive sport comes after three-four years of consultations with stakeholders of the Yoga sector. The minister 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.

He further said, "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."

Meanwhile, Mr. Rijjju 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 closely working together to establish Yogasana as a competitive sport. He further said they were planning to include Yogasana as a sport in Khelo India and in the University Games. "We will also pitch it at the National Games but the aim and objective of any sport is to be included in the Olympics and this is a beginning of a long journey," said Mr. Rijiju, adding that Yogasana is going to become a very beautiful, attractive, and popular sport.

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

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