Uncertainty surrounds yoga in Malaysia

Thursday 6 November, 2008

Bad news for yoga-loving Muslims in Malaysia: the country's National Fatwa Council may issue a ruling banning them from practising yoga due to its association with the Hindu faith.


The head of the Department of Islamic Development said a six-month study has concluded that Malaysian Muslims are 'easily influenced by foreign cultures to the point of affecting their faith'.


Unsurprinsingly, many Muslim practitioners and teachers of yoga have opposed the possible ruling - and the Hindu community has responded by saying the emphasis is on yoga instructors and practitioners to keep religion out of yoga.


The decision is expected to be announced in the next week or two.


Islam is the official religion of Malaysia - more than 60% of the 27 million population are Muslim Malays who practice a conservative form of the religion. Meanwhile, yoga is a popular pastime in the country, especially in the fast-living capital, Kuala Lumpur.


This is hardly the first time yoga has been mistaken for a religion - but the vast majority of people practice because purely because it keeps them healthy, supple and strong.


Yoga and religion are two separate entities and it's sad for all involved when the two become inextricably linked.


Lucia Cockcroft, editor





Most in Malaysia are

Most in Malaysia are so-called Moderate Muslims. However, extremist Sharia law Muslims are moving in there in huge numbers, so if you don't want it to turn into Saudi Arabia there where they stone 13 year old girls for getting raped, you'd better do something pretty quick. Malaysia is very protective of Islam and regularly bans anything that it sees as a threat to it. They are very fundamental in the sense that anything that is not of Islam is against Islam.


Holistic Education

I have nothing against the

I have nothing against the Muslims. But how in the world did they ban Yoga there and thinking that Yoga is a religion? Is it because when you do Yoga, you have to bow? This is ridiculous! What about those Malaysians who would love to be healthy through yoga?


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