NEW DELHI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- India's federal sports ministry Thursday formally recognized Yogasana (Yoga postures) as a competitive sport, officials said.
The announcement was made by federal junior sports minister Kiren Rijiju and Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy Unani Sidda Homoeopathy (AYUSH) minister Shripad Yesso Naik during a joint press conference.
"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," Naik 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."
Yogasana is likely to have seven categories, including traditional Yogasana, artistic Yogasana (single), artistic Yogasana (pair), rhythmic Yogasana (pair), free flow/group Yogasana, individual all-round championship and team championship, according to a statement issued by AYUSH ministry.
Rijiju said the competitions that will arise out of the recognition of Yogasana as a sport will enhance interest in Yoga among people around the globe.
"We are planning to include Yogasana as a sport discipline in Khelo India (Indian national program for the development of sports) and in the University Games and we will also pitch it at the National Games but the aim and objective of any sport is to be included in Olympics and this is a beginning of a long journey," he said. Enditem