Yoga News

Yoga Not Appropriate for Muslims?

I wonder what readers think about this. (Thanks, Matt, for sending me the link.)

It’s pretty much accurate to say that there are religious aspects to yoga. So the National Fatwa Council is not wrong on that front. Even still, there’s a host of issues/concerns here regarding the role of government and religion in guiding and restricting the behavior of citizens, but I don’t want to get into a discussion about that, especially when we’re talking about another country that I don’t know a lot about. I wonder, though, if people in Malaysia could just practice yoga without the religious aspects. They could, for instance, do “gym” yoga.

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2 thoughts on “Yoga Not Appropriate for Muslims?

  1. I am an avid yoga practitioner in Malaysia and thank God i’m not muslim. This ban that the Malaysian Fatwa Council has imposed is an act of absolute ignorance and I feel for the many Muslim practitioners and teachers in the country. In Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, many people from different religious backgrounds (Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc) sought his teachings and some even became his loyal students. Yoga talks about the ultimate aim of becoming one with God…now, isn’t that the objective of all religions?

  2. I’m Muslim and I like practicing Yoga. Yoga like many other martial arts has religious aspects to it. As a Muslim, I do make an effort and separate the two aspects of yoga. The reason I’m more interested in physical yoga is that it gives me an opportunity to flex myself within the confines of my house.
    About the Fatwa; it seems to be about spiritual yoga. As a Muslim I see it as a welcome opportunity for dialogue within muslims communities. Fatwas are not carved in stone and are given in response to the local community needs or concerns. So if a fatwa is issued in Malaysia, it’s very well response to the local needs and concerns of that community and should not lead rest of us to jump to conclusions.

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