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Saudi Arabia Approves Yoga, Calls it 'Sports Activity'

The Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry has listed Yoga under "sports activities". This will now allow citizens of the Islamic kingdom to practice or propagate it by getting a licence from the government.

News18.com

Updated:November 14, 2017, 4:53 PM IST
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Saudi Arabia Approves Yoga, Calls it 'Sports Activity'
Representative image (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: In a major boost to Narendra Modi’s ambitious project of boosting yoga, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday approved the ancient Indian practice as a sports activity.

The Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry has listed Yoga under "sports activities". This will now allow citizens of the Islamic kingdom to practice or propagate it by getting a licence from the government.

Two years ago, in 2015, after the United Nations declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, Indian diplomatic missions in Saudi had organized yoga sessions in many Indian schools there. Nouf Al Marwaai is the first credited Saudi woman teaching yoga and has been recognized as the driving force behind the development of yoga in Saudi Arabia.

The development comes just days after a Jharkhand-based Muslim girl was harassed by people of her community allegedly for practicing yoga and was also issued fatwas by clerics in the state. Rafia, who has been seen performing yoga with Baba Ramdev, had also claimed that she was harassed for three years by people who thought yoga was un-Islamic.
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