Yoga Flame

If you have ever played Street Fighter II, you probably recognize Dhalsim, the Yoga master from India. For me--and, I suspect, for many men around my age--this video game character was my first exposure to the concept of Yoga. What we learned about Dhalsim (and, by association, about Yoga) is that he can levitate, teleport, and breathe fire. He can also stretch his arms and legs to ridiculous lengths.

Those who paid attention to the story know that Dhalsim is a pacifist, who only fights for money to help the poor. Moral of the story: Yoga gives you superhuman powers, but it should only be used for personal growth, not to beat people up (except for a good cause). Does that mean that "Yoga championship" is an oxymoron? Nope, it's real, and these contenders will kick your ass at Yoga.

So if Yoga can be a competitive sport, then maybe the idea of a street-fighting yogi isn't so far fetched, after all. Who knows? Maybe there is a real-life Dhalsim out there, training in secret, biding his time until the inevitable Yoga Martial Arts Tournament.

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