Datin Suleiha Merican, a 56-year-old Muslim yoga teacher at Maya Yoga in Singapore was aghast at the latest Fatwa news. “When we are strong in our faith, why would we want to deviate? The professor’s [Zakaria Stapa's] statement is totally uncalled for,” she said. With a family history (her father and grandfather both yoga instructors) and over 40 years of her own experience, Merican sees no problem with yoga practice and encourages Muslims to take part in the “science of health” noting its positive effects on ailments like headaches and back pain.
She further explains her reason for shock, “Every part of the world I have gone to there are Muslims who practice yoga…for instance in Iran,” she said. To which we thought, Wow, there’s yoga in Iran?
At the risk of embarrassment, we’re going to be honest and tell you that until yesterday we hadn’t really thought much about yoga in the Muslim world or if/how many yoga studios existed in Middle Eastern countries. And we figured maybe some of you out there hadn’t either, so we decided there’s no shame in doing a little research.
after the jump…Top 5 Major Muslim Countries We Were Most Surprised to Find Yoga
3. Saudi Arabia – link Saudi Arabia Yoga and Fitness Centre
4. Afghanistan - The Most Beautfiul Thing I Saw in Kabul- Inspiring article about yoga in an Afghani orphanage. (see photo –>)
Long time Muslim yoga instructor expresses shock over UKM lecturer’s statement [New Straits Times]