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Why Yoga should be the national physical sport of every country

Aug 28, 2015, 9:25 AM | Article By: Jarga Kebba Gigo, an African activist and transformer

A national physical sport should be as inclusive as possible. Yoga is the physical sport where the young and old; men and women; rich and poor; can all benefit in a relatively balanced manner. It is the mother of all sports that ‘breast feeds’ every physical sport.

There is not one single professional physical sport that does include few yoga positions in its training. It has over three thousand positions, so each sport just takes a few of what they believe they need from yoga; it formally existed over “five” thousand years; so your century old sports is a baby who needs to be grateful beyond learning.

Formal Yoga may be from India as most history books claim, but Informal Yoga existed in Africa and perhaps before humankind. Among the most popular yoga positions are “baby pose” and “dog pose”. Baby pose is as its name implies, babies yoga in reflex, and was the first baby from India? Beside the “dog pose”, animals perform various yoga positions, and where the first animals from India? A smart Yoga teacher often said: “Man is the only creature on earth that wakes up with an alarm, rush to shower, rush to work or (watch TV) without stretching.”

Many Yoga positions were learned from animals. If you watch toddlers and children, especially Africans, you can see many of the Yoga positions. The Amazing blessing of humankind over animals is not just the mind, but the Lord blesses us with extraordinary beautiful bodies beyond subjective eye claims.

The Human body is the most functional body among the creatures we can see on earth and Yoga is the best sport to demonstrate that beauty and functionality. The main ‘but’ humankind has in contrast to animals is best described in the awesome Koranic verses, Ch 95 verse 4-6, “We have created humankind in the best of molds. Then we revert him to the lowest of the low. Except those who have faith and do righteous deeds; for them there is an unfailing reward...”

Although, the Koran has many layers, we cannot exclude physical blessing, especially yoga, in the interpretation of this verse. Mold is physical, we are in a physical world, and our blessings should include physical blessings. Yoga is such a ‘righteous deed’ that there is unfailing reward for it while on earth. If you perform enough other righteous deeds, you have every reason to have hope from the Lord than your Imam, Pastor, and others who may look down on yoga.

Health is indeed the best ‘paradise’ I have experienced or can think of on earth – Yoga is the most health-inclusive sport that can help even the unhealthy, gradually rejuvenating the chosen among the ‘fallen’.

Flexibility, strength, and calmness are among the top benefits of Yoga. Since there are thousands of yoga positions to give different blessings, you choose the positions that meet your target. Bikram Yoga has few yoga positions they religiously practise in a very warm to hot environment.

There are advantages to having a routine, but I like going out of the box at times, especially in a diverse world like yoga. So my suggestion is to have ‘National Yoga Anthem’ to alternate with other Yoga positions that a teacher will recommend to students as doctor to patients.

The ‘National Yoga Association’ of every country must encourage diversity but give guidance to the regional and community yoga associations. For example, The Gambia can have a ‘National Yoga Anthem’ that our students, average ministers, and parliamentarians can regularly perform in public.

The Regional Levels can have different anthems and the community Yoga associations can be lot more diverse and demanding to produce mind blowing National Yoga Competitions. Traditionally, yoga is self competition, or self challenge for health and beyond. The health condition of the world is so serious that we must speak the language people understand most: money and competition as secondary benefits. A champion with a trillion dollar body can be encouraged with a hundred thousand dollar annual top price to attract those who are yet to see beyond money.

I recommend free yoga lessons to some students, but paid yoga to university students and other adults. About thirty percent of the paid fees should be to help develop the sport: ten percent for the community yoga association, ten percent for the regional yoga association, and the other ten percent for the national yoga association.

Solid constitution should help influence how that money should be used to help develop the sport beyond rewards through competitions. No salaries, but commission-based remuneration for Yoga teachers and other leaders.

Work harder to earn more is a fair challenge every leader should accept. Suppose the association’s constitution stipulates thirty percent of paid fees to go on space renting and personnel compensation, you will need another percentage to go on buying yoga accessories for the Center. An NGO or the National Yoga Association should respect and help you more if you are well organised.