Yoga competitions focus on the execution of challenging yoga poses that require superior strength and flexibility. These poses, known as yoga asana, see competitors demonstrating physical endurance in addition to yoga skill and ability in what is seen as a sport by its practitioners, who would like to see the practice of competitive yoga asana incorporated into the Olympic Games.
There are several official yoga competition organizations worldwide, including the International Yoga Sports Federation and USA Yoga, both of which host competitions and advocate for the recognition of yoga asana practice as a sport. The International Yoga Sports Federation hosts annual competitions that have youth, adult and senior divisions, allowing yoga asana practitioners from all age groups to compete against peers for championship titles. Though the event is a competition with winners, the peaceful spirit of yoga practice is supposed to prevail, with the competitors expected to be supportive of each other and approach competitive events with a spirit of camaraderie.
Yoga competition is a relatively new phenomenon, and the practice of treating yoga as a sport is said to have originated in India. As of 2014, the USA Yoga organization has been hosting yoga competitions on both the regional and national level for more than a decade.