Saudi Arabia has now approved teaching of Yoga and declared it as a sport. This extraordinary change happened due to the tireless efforts of Nouf Marwaai, a Yogacharinie who dedicated herself to promote Yoga in the Gulf region.
In 2009, she had started her own medical center for yoga therapy, Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine but this move wasn’t welcomed initially and she received death threats on a continuous basis. She told ANI,
“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 didn’t give up and continued her stand for yoga. She has conducted numerous seminars and educational speeches and has taught more than 3000 students of yoga since 2005 and certified more than 70 yoga teachers between 2009 and 2014.
Moreover, her commitment to Yoga also helped her to defeat cancer. She says,
“I Am a lupus survivor, and a breast cancer survivor…I didn’t go through chemo because my health was taken care of with yoga and naturopathic lifestyle.”
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Nouf is happy as the Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry has finally listed Yoga under its sports category. She says,
“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 shared this revolutionary news on Facebook:
This one woman brought yoga revolution in Saudi Arabia. Hats off!