Saudi Arabia finally approves Yoga as a sports activity
2017 has been the year of momentous changes in Saudi Arabia. These changes range from allowing women to drive to permitting its female citizens to watch sport events in stadiums. The kingdom's Ministry of Commerce and Industry has now approved yoga as a sports activity. Nouf Marwaai, Saudi Arabia's first female yoga instructor, welcomed the move in a Facebook post. Here's more about it.
The approval renders yoga a sports service under business activity. This means that the government would issue licenses to businesses and instructors to set up yoga centres in Saudi Arabia.
In a Facebook post, Marwaai, Saudi Arabia's first female yoga instructor rejoiced over the decision. She referred to India as the "land of yoga" and thanked King Salman and Crown-Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for their resolve to free Saudi from "extremism and corruption." She also expressed her gratitude towards the Indian government, the Indian consulate in Saudi Arabia and its people.
By declaring Yoga as a 'Sports Activity' Saudi Arabia has taken a historic & scientific decision beyond religions. This will break the myth among Muslim community and open the doors for peace & health for them: Baba Ramdev (File picture) pic.twitter.com/0PEihKClpG— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2017
Speaking to ANI, Maulana Sajid Rashidi, a Muslim cleric, welcomed Saudi Arabia's decision. He said that while yoga postures such as 'Surya Namaskar' are generally associated with Hindus, "health should not be associated with a particular religion." "Yoga was never prohibited in Islam. Yoga is meant for a healthy body and Islam does not deny this fact," he added.