Yoga and Islam - Part Two
In 2008, the Malaysian government issued a fatwa banning some features of yoga practice, including the chanting of mantras, claiming that they were incompatible with Islam. The move drew criticisms from Muslim and non-Muslim practitioners who have felt real physical and mental benefits from yoga.
Elsewhere Muslims - particularly those of the Middle East - have been practicing yoga widely since the mid 1990s, and the movement is growing. In Iran, where clerics have inveighed against many other trends, yoga is popular enough to warrant its own magazines and TV shows.
In this programme Azadeh asks, why has yoga been fully embraced in some Muslim countries but not in others? How do followers of yoga in the Muslim world view the relationship between their faith and their practice? What are the true spiritual origins of yoga and can the practice be adapted to suit different faiths and perspectives?
She speaks to the Malaysian activist Marina Mahathir, about the 2008 fatwa against yoga in her country. And she talks to a Muslim yoga teacher in the United States whose recent blog detailing her anxieties about the relationship between yoga and Islam provoked worldwide attention.
Produced by Sarah Cuddon, Falling Tree Production