Yoga and competitiveness

The best part of Yoga is its non-competitiveness. In its core, yoga promotes equality of all human beings in thought and action. In today’s world, competitiveness is taught right from early childhood. One has to be at the top of the class or keep winning competitions. One has to do that and this and too many things just in order to stay afloat. Else how else would one get that top education or that top job? All because one has to be comfortable in life. Comfort is very relative – what works for one doesn’t work for another. So the thinking is one has to have the most comfort. Being second is not enough – it attracts rejection and dejection. Thus it is best to stay at the top. Thus one gets fueled up with the IMG_0408competitive spirit. Unfortunately there is no competitive spirit built-in promoting equality or justice or fairness as much as it is built to be the first at everything. You become a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer because there is some comfort level guaranteed (providing you find a job!).  Very few aspire to be a social worker or even give up comforts in life to serve others. Imagine if the education system was reversed to teach caring and loving as the prime requirement. But that can’t be in practice. The humankind works on Darwin’s principle of survival and with the need to survive, there will be competition. Excel in competition and one hopes to do some good in turn. This is proven in advanced and well-off economies of the west. There is more philanthropy than in the under developed economy. So, why bring up Yoga in the discussion? Long term practice of yoga can start to cool down one’s competitiveness. In a world of survival, this isn’t exactly good. One has to keep up competitiveness to be able to do whatever good one wants to. So don’t let lulled into complacency – whether by yoga or otherwise. Let your competitiveness drive your desire to do good but don’t let your desire to do good dull your senses into giving up.

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