Announcing the First Ever Sit-off, a Meditation Competition

Gentle blog readers of Yoga with Nikki Chau, can you hear it? The grumbling, the rumbling, the bottled-up shakti shakin’, the face-off of the century (so far) in the yoga world: is yoga a sport? Can it be competed? Can it be in the Summer Olympics? Hell, why not in the Winter Olympics too?

In the left corner, we have those who just might pass out from the kumbhaka in their chest, their eyes have found a permanent place in the back of the head, not as a result of an Advanced Variation of Simhasana, but because of the thought that yoga would be portrayed as no more than a parade of limber bodies in speedos vying to have the best assana.

In the right corner, we have those who say, “What’s wrong with competition?” “History is full of competition!” (Never mind that it is also full of misdirected ego.) “Competition is healthy!” “It exposes people to yoga!” (Possible exposures may include “balls like atom bombs, two of them, 100 megatons each.“)

Gloves up, ladies and gentlemen.

Now, it is a perfectly legitimate thing to ask, “WHO.CARES?” Do we not have bigger matsyasana to fry, like, oh, unemployment, war, famine, poverty, clean water, people going rogue, dirty dishes in the sink, laundry, just to name a few? Why, yes! We do! But considering that here in America we seem to have an affinity towards First World Problems, like The First Lady’s sleeveless arms and whether or not The President should swat a fly. Anything and everything can stir up “intense national debates” (also known as Controversy Sells), and yoga is certainly not exempt.

To debate the merits, or lack thereof, of yoga competitions, we would need all night and a couple bottles of wine, and we’re not here to do that. (But in the spirit of Live and Let Live, let’s raise a glass to everyone.)

We are here, however, to sit. It is kind of the point, isn’t it? And if yoga can be competed, it follows that meditation can be too. So, without further ado, I hereby announce The First Ever Sit-Off. I say first ever because I’m unaware of any such event, outside of Tricycle Magazine’s Commit to Sit challenge. And everyone knows a challenge does not expose people to meditation, it doesn’t lead to “inspiring millions of youngsters who wouldn’t otherwise cross this otherwise esoteric, difficult path.”

The Rules of the Sit-Off

What. The Sit-Off is a competition to see who can meditate the best! Judging will be based on:

  • How long you can sit without scratching your nose, as PETA unleashes hordes of deadly flies in the room
  • How long you can go without thinking about checking your Facebook or Twitter
  • How many times you label random thoughts that has nothing to do with what you’re doing right now, like, “Twilight is totally playing off a girl’s fantasy of having two hot and handsome yet gentle and sensitive men fighting over her.”
  • How long you can practice loving-kindness while playing Cotton Eyed Joe on repeat, and repeat, and repeat…

When. 28 days from today, Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 to Monday December 21, 2009. Why? Because I recently turned 28, and conveniently enough, Tricycle’s Commit to Sit is also 28 days. And it seems like Hollywood likes the number 28, so after the commercial success of Enlighten Up, maybe someone will do a documentary on the Sit-off. Hey, you can be a Meditation star! Plus, I like palindromes like 12/21.

Who. Do you want an excuse for sitting around and doing nothing? Do you want to tell relatives at Thanksgiving dinner that you’re training for a competition? “Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?” If so, comment and say, “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.”

Why. So we can bring meditation to the masses, of course! And it takes a competition, people!

Prize. Soon, Meditation will be an Olympics sport, and you will have had your training during this Sit-Off, (and many others to come as this catches on) and you’ll win Olympics Medals! (You’re welcome).

Now, this'll be a straight sit-off, old school rules. First model sits; second model duplicates, then elaborates. Okay, boys - let's go to work!

Now, this'll be a straight sit-off, old school rules. First model sits; second model duplicates, then elaborates. Okay, boys - let's go to work!