Robin Brant of the BBC, rather awkwardly, drops in on a yoga class in Kuala Lumpur and speaks with Adam, a male yogi (a rarity in the Muslim world) who has been practicing for 2 years and has no intention of giving it up regardless of the ruling. “I don’t think it interferes with religion at all. In fact, it helps and makes you healthier and more aligned. It helps you become self-aware. It makes you a better person.”
The teacher in the room, also male actually, explains yoga is “purely sports” and can be used to enhance whatever it is we are doing.
Brant also speaks with Dr. Osman Bakar, a professor of Islam, who concedes that the National Fatwa Council would be most worried about yoga becoming a spiritual practice and interfering with prayer. “Concern here is not to mix what we call worship, which is precisely what prayer is, with elements from other traditions or from other religions,” says Bakar.
The report ends with the ruling to be announced next month, contrary to what we’d been told earlier this week, to which we say, WTF?
Malaysian Authorities Consider Yoga Ban [BBC World]