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With all these world record yoga events and baited sun breaths waiting for the Eat, Pray, Love merchandising avalanche, have we really forgotten about the Fatwa? The wha? Hey, watch your language! No, really, at the end of 2008 and early ’09 we had fatwas flying out from every direction. OK, mostly the east. To [...]


Yoga’s ‘Don’ Bikram Choudhury responds as expected to the recent news of the yoga ban in Malaysia: He rubs shoulders with Hollywood celebrities, refers to his yoga classes as “torture chambers”, and pooh-poohs religious leaders who oppose the practice of yoga. “Yoga has absolutely nothing to do with religion,” said Los Angeles-based Choudhury, when asked about [...]

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Sarawak Next State to Follow Yoga Ban The Sarawak State Fatwa Council has ruled that yoga is indeed ‘haram’ (harmful, opposite of halal) and has agreed to gazette the fatwa, as in accept and publish the National Fatwa Council’s edict. The state’s Assistant Minister (Islamic Affairs), Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, commented that it’s up to the Muslims of [...]

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The latest word from Malaysia brings potentially bad news to the Muslim yogis of Johor (one of Malaysia’s 9 states EDIT: 9 states with hereditary rulers, there are 13 states total). The State Religious Committee conceded to the National Fatwa Council’s decree to ban yoga in the country. Since it’s up to each individual state to accept [...]


Big news! Yoga will not be banned in Malaysia! In an effort to clarify the National Fatwa Council’s ruling and to calm the outcry of protests, even from the country’s sultans, current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi released a statement giving Malaysian yogis the freedom to continue the physical practice of yoga for good health, but on the stipulation that they refrain from [...]


The Malaysian National Fatwa Council stuck to their word and announced the ruling – Yoga is banned for Muslims in the country, roughly 60 percent of the 27 million population. The National Fatwa Council, which has the authority to rule on how Muslims must conduct their faith, issued a fatwa, or edict, saying yoga involves [...]


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 [...]