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World
15 Nov 2017

Saudi Arabia finally approves Yoga as a sports activity

Saudi Arabia 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.

In context

Saudi Arabia approves Yoga as a sports activity

What does this mean?

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.

Nouf Marwaai welcomes the decision in her announcement

Facebook post

Nouf Marwaai welcomes the decision in her announcement

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.

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Baba Ramdev hails Saudi Arabia's "historic" decision

Opinion

Muslim cleric: 'Yoga was never prohibited under Islam'

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.

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