It’s the first week of the year, and everyone’s reporting on trends of the past, present and future now that we’re in the year 2013. Yesterday, ABC News reported that “more yoga practitioners are pint-sized,” explaining that it’s the “fastest-growing sport in America”–especially amongst kids. Fox News was perturbed. In their humble opinion, teaching kids yoga is contributing to the real trend of 2013: “The wussification of America.”
To prove the theory, they dragged a parenting expert onto the show: Larry Winget, author of a new book called “Your Kids Are Your Own Fault.” One of his primary arguments seems to be that “if it doesn’t have a ball, it’s not a sport,” and that kids reared on yoga alone will wither and die. Or at least, contribute to what Fox News the disturbing trend of…we aren’t really clear on that, actually.
YogaDork, who alerted us to the news segment, pretty much summed up our thoughts in a mid-post rant:
Here’s the thing, no one’s arguing with you Winget, Fox and friends. (Well, maybe Bikram, but he’s used to scuffles.) Is yoga a sport? Moot. Who cares? Besides, according to these guys you need a ball to call it a sport, and that term should be reserved for tough things like…fishing or hunting? Oh, wait. Nevermind other popular ball-less sports like track and field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, wrestling, equestrian and any kind of racing. Again, moot.
But as YogaDork also says, it’s worth combatting the misinformation and misconceptions thrown around on Fox News. While competitive sports do teach valuable lessons, I don’t think they’re necessarily lost on kids (or adults) who practice yoga instead of playing soccer.
Winget explained the “problem” with kids doing yoga instead of sports in more detail:
“Listen if nobody’s keeping’ score, it ain’t a sport. […] The problem is, it’s all about yourself, it’s singular, it’s not interactive. Sports are interactive. They teach you to socialize with others, to work as a team. They teach you to get knocked down, and then get back up. You don’t get that unless you slip on your mat, in yoga, and that’s not gonna teach you anything.”
Something tells me he’s never tried arm balances, or a class so hard you have to curl up into child’s pose out of exhaustion and embarrassment at your inferior form. (And for that matter, I’d argue that “singular” sports like running, swimming, and track can all teach valuable lessons about winning and losing, despite the fact that there’s no score, and no ball.)
Watch the video below and tell us which part you think is most ridiculous. It’s a tough choice.
Photo: flickr user Doe, John