Saudi Arabia promotes Yoga as important sport activity; signs MoU with India

The first International Day of Yoga was observed on June 21, 2015.

Riyadh: In a move that is the first of its kind by any country in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia on Monday has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with India to create an official “Yoga Protocol (Standards)” to promote yoga in the country, local media reported.

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The experts along with the ministry of sports of Saudi Arabia will design the protocols for the Gulf country taking into account some of the local sensitivities prevailing there.

Accordingly, the relevant ministry has officially recognized yoga as a form of sports activity although it has been allowed in the country since November 2017 itself.

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The MoU will pave the way for collaboration for research, education and training in yoga with individuals who undergo specific examinations and assessments to become officially certified instructors.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the seventh international day of Yoga between  Leaders Development Institute, Saudi Ministry of Sports, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, government of India.The MOU was prepared 6-7 months ago.

The embassy of India, Riyadh and the consulate general of India in Jeddah celebrated the seventh international day of Yoga with a set of activities in which yoga enthusiasts from Saudis, Indians and from different nationalities participated with vigor and activity.

The signing ceremony, held in Riyadh, was followed by a webinar on ‘Yoga for COVID Management’ by renowned international experts. The ambassador received the prestigious Yogamitra Award from the University of Sviasa on this occasion.

Due to the prevailing restrictions related to COVID-19, physical participation was limited and all events were streamed live on the Embassy’s Facebook page and were seen in large numbers.

The Saudi Yoga Committee was formed and empowered as an independent federation for this purpose, just like other sports associations. Nouf Marwaai, known as the first Saudi yogakar and Padma Shri awardee, will chair this committee, as per media reports.

The first International Day of Yoga was observed on June 21, 2015.

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Sakina Fatima

Sakina Fatima, a digital journalist with, has a master's degree in business administration and is a graduate in mass communication and journalism. Sakina covers topics from the Middle East, with a leaning towards human interest issues.
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