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After lifting ban on women driving cars, Saudi Arabia now declares yoga as sports

"Since, its inception in Saudi, Yoga has observed a topsy-turvy path, with me as a medium. God gave me the strength to fight all difficulties, real difficulties.." she said in her post.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: November 15, 2017 1:56 pm
saudi arabia, saudi, yoga, FB post, cancer survivor, baba ramdev, Consulate General, Rafia Naaz, ayurveda, indian express, exppress web Here is a day, that finally practising yoga is no more a deviant behaviour in Saudi, she said in her FB post (Facebook)

The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry this week approved the practice of yoga, a move that will enable anyone to get a licence to teach and provide service as a yoga teacher.

Saudi Arabia’s first yoga instructor and cancer survivor, Nouf Marwaai, also claimed in a Facebook post that the Saudi government has declared yoga as a sport.

“Yoga, which literally means ‘union’. A union of the individual with one’s wellbeing, a body to mind, emotions & soul, nation to globe has officially arrived at the seashore of Saudi Arabia. It has crossed the boundaries of fundamentalism…ideological extremism,” Nouf said in a Facebook post dated November 12.

“Since, its inception in Saudi, Yoga has observed a topsy-turvy path, with me as a medium. God gave me the strength to fight all difficulties, real difficulties. God was with me as an observer and infused courage in me whenever required. Here is a day, that finally practising yoga is no more a deviant behaviour in Saudi,” she further said in her FB post.

She also thanked King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince HRH Mohammad Bin Salman for making the Muslim-majority country free from extremism and corruption. She praised them, saying they want to change the narrative from “Oil as Gold” to “Humanity as a Gold”.

“Who is trying to build our Nation on the lines of Sustainable Development Goals,” she said while referring to both of them. She also thanked the Indian Government and the Consulate General for “unlimited” support.

Yoga guru Ramdev has, meanwhile, appreciated the Saudi government’s move on Wednesday. “Saudi Arabia has taken a historic step by declaring Yoga as a sports activity. Yoga is a secular practice with lots of benefits,” he was quoted by ANI as saying.

In September, King Salman had ordered that women be allowed to drive cars in the Islamic kingdom, ending its status as the only country in the world to impose such restrictions.

Last week, Rafia Naaz, a woman yoga teacher in Ranchi, was allegedly threatened by members of her community after she performed yoga.

The present Indian government has made concerted efforts to promote yoga. In 2014, the Ministry of Ayush was established to develop education and research in ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy, Sowa-rigpa (Traditional Tibetan medicine), and other Indigenous Medicine systems. The United Nations has also declared June 21 as ‘International Yoga Day’.

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  1. V
    Village Boy
    Nov 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    According to our pseudo desh bhakts of rss, yoga is secular but India and its cons ution is not. Bloody chuddyfools.
    1. Moin Kamal
      Nov 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm
      Yoga is not a sport as practice by Hindus as a prayer. When you UMM and other words,
      1. H
        Nov 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm
        When arab sheikhs come to india they dont interact with dirty indian muslims , they stay in star hotels , visit some resorts , meetings with Tataa, Aambani, .... then take return flight . Indian muslims should know their position in the eyes of Arab sheikhs.Brain deluded indian muslims are giving fatwa against yoga when all 5 star hotels in Riyadh, Dubai...are having yoga facilities . Indian muslims who are slaves of arabs , shouting against the religion of their ancesters .
        1. D
          Nov 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm
          lib tards like Rajdeep Sardesai and others should learn something from Saudi Arabia about respecting yoga.
          1. P
            Nov 15, 2017 at 8:43 pm
            And fundamentalists like gau rakshaks and u the supporter should also learn from saudi arabia. People there are taking progressive steps and here women in rajasthan are asked to grind chakki, Haryana govt.says women in veil is their pride, worship and kill in the name of cow, meat abattoirs in UP will be linked to DMs office but the same is not for primary schools and health centres. Saudi arabia is progressing and India is engaging in backward counting under the guidance and support of morons.
            1. V
              Village Boy
              Nov 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm
              Yoga is lazy people's excercise. What is there to respect. Lazy people are all over the world. And stop begging for respect then someone may think of having it you and your ilk.
            2. A
              Nov 15, 2017 at 7:25 pm
              SriSri Ravishankar transformed 1000s of war ravaged syrian to handle the stress and depression through Yoga. Looks like the whole arab world appreciating the yoga as a medicine for humanity. Only the leftist Muslims in India and Pakistan will keep rejecting Yoga due to their iden y crisis. Muslims of Indian subcontinent should choose between Mohammad Bin Qasim and Hindu Ancestry to choose their idenity.
              1. Rohit Pawar
                Nov 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm
                This Ravishankar is fraud yogi who charges hefty money to teach meditation which he don t understand.
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