Faced challenges to teach yoga officially in Saudi, says Yogacharinie Nouf Marwaai

Jeddah: In what is being termed as a landmark step, Saudi Arabia has approved teaching of Yoga in the country, claimed Nouf Marwaai, the Yogacharinie who dedicated herself to promote Yoga in the Gulf region.
In an exclusive interaction with ANI, Marwaai revealed she had to face a lot of accusations, threats for even writing about yoga or yoga day.
She said, “I struggled a lot. I had to face a lot of accusations and threats. Any article that was released about yoga or yoga day, I would receive many messages and texts. I could not teach yoga officially. I also couldn’t get a license in 2012 for naturopathy center, even after spending USD 1 million, just because it wasn’t classified yet.”
Nouf is elated about the decision and said that the Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry has listed Yoga under its sports category.
“Yoga is a legal sport activity in Saudi Arabia now. It’s in the official website of the ministry of trade and industry listed under sports activities. License are available for yoga centers and studios. Saudi yoga teachers have even started preparing their own yoga studios,” she said.
The Riyadh-based Yoga expert also addressed the controversy of Yoga being un-islamic by some clerics, and shared that many Muslims practice the ancient regime and see no conflict in it at all.
“Yoga was regarded as a sport at that time and was basically developed to help people gain more control over the body and the mind for attaining better state to achieve deep meditation, yoga is a man made system based on deep knowledge and philosophy,” explained Nouf.
It should be noted that Nouf Marwaai is a Saudi businesswoman and entrepreneur as well as a leading practitioner and the promoter of Yoga in Saudi Arabia and Middle East.
She is also a practitioner of Ayurvedic Indian medicine. (ANI)