Indonesia forms its first yoga association

March 5th, 2009 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bali, March 5 (IANS) Despite all the hullabulloo about the ban on certain elements of yoga by the country’s top Muslim body, Indonesia formed its first yoga association Thursday at the International Bali India Yoga festival.

Formed under the aegis of Somvir, an Indian spiritual guru and academic who formed the Bali India Foundation to teach yoga more than a decade back, the association’s main aim will be to remove misconceptions about yoga and spread awareness about it.

“There are many yoga centres here in Bali and elsewhere but hardly anyone knows each other. This association will be like an umbrella organisation to exchange ideas, information and ultimately spread awareness that yoga is a medium to good health,” Somvir told IANS at the festival Thursday.

A total of 30 yoga centres from various parts of Indonesia like Bali, Java and Lombo have came together to form the association.

With the recent regulation on certain elements of yoga by the country’s topmost Muslim body in the backdrop, Somvir said that the association will also aim at removing people’s misconceptions about yoga.

“In Indonesia, yoga is becoming popular but many people still keep away from it thinking that it’s a mystic art that should avoid. We will try and disseminate information that yoga is just an exercise for physical and mental well being,” Somvir added.

Although Somvir is the founding member of the association, the chief of the association is a Balinese woman entrepreneur who has been learning yoga at the Bali India Foundation for a year now.

“Sri is an avid yoga practitioner. Since nearly 90 percent of those practising yoga in the world are women, it’s only fair that a woman is the chief of the association,” he said.

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