Yoga organization hoping to make yoga poses an Olympic event

My very limited knowledge of yoga has led me to understand that clearing your mind and relaxing are extremely important. When my fiancee is doing yoga, she prefers that I not even speak to her. Can the whole clear-headed, peace of mind thing be combined with Olympic competition? Those who participate in the National Yoga Asana Championship believe it can.

The National Yoga Asana Championship is an event that will be held from March 2-4. The idea is to perfect the various yoga poses, with judges determining whether or not each competitor’s knees were locked and wrists were straight, among other criteria depending on the position. The competition is being held by USA Yoga, whose founder Rajashree Choudhury can envision yoga poses as an Olympic sport.

“I’m not trying to measure anybody’s ‘eight states,”‘ Choudhury said referring to the spiritual aspect of yoga, according to MyFoxDC.com. “The posture can be competitive.”

Choudhury believes competitions are a way to capture the interest of those who may shy away from the meditative state that yoga is associated with. As expected, her opinion is not shared by everyone.

“The roots of yoga are based in acceptance and non-violence and compassion toward self and others,” 35-yeard-old Roseanne Harvey, a yoga practitioner of 15 years, explained. “What we’re trying to do is encourage students not to compete.”

Considering there are plenty of people out there who criticize Olympic sports like curling, I highly doubt the prospect of yoga as an Olympic sport will be well-received. I understand the concept of having the quality of a yoga position judged and critiqued, but is this really something countries can compete against one another over? I’m not seeing it.

Mark Cuban Says Letting Players Play for Olympic Team is ‘Stupidity,’ Calls Olympic Basketball ‘Meaningless’

Above all else, Mark Cuban is a businessman. That is the reason he is one of the most successful men in America. He may love guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd on a personal level, but at the end of the day, they are assets to his company. Cuban pays them to play for the Mavericks, so if they are going to get hurt and jeopardize their careers, he wants to make sure it is done on company time. Dirk is currently nursing an knee injury that may have been caused while playing for Germany in international competition, and Cuban is not happy about it.

“It’s just the epitome of stupidity that we would allow ourselves to be used so other corporations (like the Olympics) can make tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars,” Cuban said according to ESPNDallas.com. “There’s some guys sitting at the Olympic headquarters going, ‘Those dumb-asses, we’re taking all their best guys for nothing.’

“I understand from Dirk’s perspective. We should never put our athletes in that position. For some sports the Olympics are very, very important. For basketball, it’s meaningless. It’s not that they’re not decent games. All things being equal, it’s fun to watch us play Argentina and Spain, but it would be just as fun if they were 21 and under.”

Cuban said he has tried to get the debate put up for vote but has had no success. Obviously his belief is shared by other owners, as evidenced by the fact that Amar’e Stoudemire may have been left off the Team USA roster this year over a similar dispute.

It’s easy to understand both sides of the argument. Cuban has a valid point; he and other NBA owners pay their players hundreds of million of dollars, and the Olympic teams get to borrow them without offering compensation. If someone should suffer a serious injury, it would be accompanied by nothing more than an “oops.” On the other hand, it is important to some players to be able to represent their country. It’s a matter of pride. Unfortunately for Cuban and others, pride is likely to continue to win out — at least for the immediate future.

Australian Olympic Volleyballers Selling Tattoo Advertisements

Some people would do anything for a buck. When you’re an Olympic hopeful who spends most of the time practicing and trying to fulfill a lifelong dream, the bucks can be tough to come by.  Luckily there are people like Australian volleyball player Claire Kelly who know how to think outside the box.

According to MyFoxDC via Fanattic Network, Kelly has petitioned companies to place permanent tattoos on her body to be seen during competition.  Packages are being offered directly to companies and sold on eBay for around $10,000 for a 0.8 inch x 0.8 inch on the left limb and roughly $50,000 for a 1.9 inch x 1.9 inch tat on the right arm or shoulder.  She said she hopes the money will help give her and her partner, Carla Kleverlaan, the financial backing they need for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

“It’s taken me months to get the courage to do this and now I’m going through with it,” Kelly explained. “I was thinking, ‘Tattoo my body with a business logo just so I can have a chance to play for my country at the Olympics? I’m crazy’!

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Alicia Sacramone Is Hot

**Also see all the Hottest Olympians at Beijing**

Apparently the Olympics are good for something, contrary to my previous beliefs. Generally I like to avoid gymnasts because their hormones are suppressed to slow their physical development, making them look like little kids (if they aren’t already little kids, that is). Much to my surprise (and delight), the Olympics team actually has a hot girl on it. And she’s 20. And she’s kinda developed. It’s Alicia Sacramone. And she ain’t bad. Check it:

Now I’m not saying she’s Ana Ivanovic status, but she definitely is solid enough to become the 10th Olympian to pose for Playboy. And who cares if she cost us a Gold Medal? She has something those other girls will never have. You know what I’m talking about.

UPDATE: Also see Hottest Olympians at Beijing

What Isn’t China Fixing in the Olympics?

This is just absurd. First they faked the skyline in the Opening Ceremonies with digitally enhanced graphics. Next up they had a cuter 9-year-old girl stand in as the face for the real girl who sung the actual anthem at the Opening Ceremony because the real girl wasn’t cute enough. Then we find out that Bela Karolyi suspected the Chinese were using 10-year-old ringers on their gymnastics team. And if you did watch any of the Olympics (which I got boonswaggled into seeing briefly), there’s no question about it — those chicks are not 16. Mark Chmura thinks those girls are underage.

OK, well if that wasn’t enough, no sporting event would be complete without a conspiracy theory. I was hearing all night from my sister, who was watching the events, how the judges kept screwing us. “The judges are screwing us, the judges are biased against the U.S., the judges must be paid off.” Apparently the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won silver while China won gold. Any shockers there? And as for her charge against the judges, I must show her this video so her suspicions can be confirmed. Luckily I’m in the U.S. and can write this without fear of having my site blocked to boot.

Mark Spitz Not at All Bitter, Oh No

I had heard a few things about Mark Spitz‘s negative attitude towards Michael Phelps and his quest for 8 golds. What I heard however, was nothing compared to the story commenter Gene passes along. 36 years after his day in the spotlight at Munich, Mark Spitz, one of the greatest Olympians ever, is coming off as quite the bitter type. He’s upset he wasn’t invited to the Olypmics to watch Phelps try and break his record of 7 gold medals and 7 world records in one Olympics. The bitter man also added this:

“I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously? That’s almost demeaning to me. It is not almost — it is.”

“I won seven events. If they had the 50m freestyle back then, which they do now, I probably would have won that too,” he said.

“He’s almost identical to me. He’s a world-record holder in all these events, so he is dominating the events just like I did,” Spitz said. “He reminds me of myself.”

Hmm, I really can’t imagine why he wouldn’t have been invited. Maybe like Newman says, it got lost in the mail? Dude, I know it’s tough to let go … but just let go.

Honestly, They Actually Give Gold Medals for That?

Every couple years when the Olympics roll around, I find myself in the minority as one of the few people who really couldn’t care less about the events. Heck, over 34 million people in the country supposedly watched the opening ceremonies on Friday evening. I was not one of them. I was a little too busy watching the opener of a three game set between the Angels and Yankees — something of much greater importance than those silly Olympics you people speak of.

If you asked why, I guess I would say there are a few reasons I don’t get into the Olympics. For one, I’m a pretty hard-core sports fan that’s already deeply entrenched in the baseball playoff race. My viewing habits and interest won’t soon be departing from that. Secondly, for the sports I actually do care about — baseball, basketball, boxing, tennis — the competition isn’t anywhere near the pinnacle they achieve in the pro leagues which have already gone global. Third, I am completely against the gymnastics and track and field competitions (two of the TV darling events) because of the treatment it invokes on the competitors. The way these female gymnasts are forced to train, injected with hormone suppressors and all, it doesn’t strike me as much different from the meat packing industry. And from reading Game of Shadows, seems as if all accomplishments in track and field these days are achieved courtesy of performance-enhancing drugs. Just what I need, to read in five years how all the medals from the ’08 games are getting stripped. And lastly, who the eff cares about some of these events? Sure, I know it’s only once in a while that I really need to feign interest in badminton, but I just can’t seem to play along.

Honestly, does anyone find it odd that somehow bow and arrow, gun shooting, canoeing, sword fighting, and jumping on a trampoline found places in the Olympics? How prestigious can these international games be when they’re giving out Gold Medals for people who row a boat properly or shoot an arrow accurately. And trampolines? Trampolines? Seriously? I don’t even want to guess how the competition works for that event. Honestly, what a mockery. You telling me I could train for four years on shooting a bow and arrow and I could win a gold medal for it? Is that all it takes? What are we, back in the hunt and gatherer state of mind? Give me a break. Anyway, I’m out — I have some handball to go watch.