Saudi Arabia approves teaching of yoga as sports activity


Saudi Gazette

— The Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) has approved the teaching of yoga as a sports activity, Nouf Al-Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation, told Saudi Gazette on Wednesday.

The MCI has listed the teaching of yoga under “sports activities” for business registration, she said. The move will allow anyone to apply for a license to teach and practice yoga in the Kingdom.

“I am happy to see sports evolving in the country,” Nouf, who is Saudi Arabia’s first yoga instructor, told Saudi Gazette.

“Yoga is a wellness sport and the approval is going to legalize yoga practice in the country which is good for better services and practice,” she added.

Saudi Arabia hosts the first internationally recognized body in the Gulf region on yoga, an ancient Indian art of healthy living.

The Arab Yoga Foundation was established in 2010 by Saudi yogacharya (certified teacher) Nouf Al-Marwaai.

There are five recognized yoga schools in Saudi Arabia, offering specialized classes in various forms of yoga. For example, the Mawada Yoga school in Jeddah teaches Vinyasa or flow yoga. The Yoga in Jeddah school offers classes on Hatha and prenatal yoga. The Indigo Yoga Center in Riyadh offers Hatha, Vinyasa, pre- and postnatal yoga classes. Jeddah Yoga Club offers workshops and training on meditation techniques. Mahayana Yoga offers workshops on yoga related topics.