Saudi Arabia on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India to promote yoga in Saudi Arabia. The MoU will pave the way for the establishment of yoga courses in the kingdom, reported Arab News. The formal yoga standards and courses will be tailormade for the country, keeping in view local sensitivities. With this, yoga has been formally recognised in the country as an important sports activity by Saudi Arabia’s ministry of sports.
The MoU was signed between the Saudi Ministry of Sports’ Leaders Development Institute and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga affiliated with India’s Ministry of Ayush. The MoU has been in making for the last six-seven months. The signing ceremony, held in Riyadh, coincided with International Yoga Day observed on June 21. The first International Day of Yoga was observed on June 21, 2015. The MoU was signed by Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Abdullah Faisal Hammad, director of Leaders Development Institute of the Saudi Sports Ministry. While yoga has been allowed in the country since November 2017, with the MoU a formal system has been put in place for its practice. Under the standards, formal certification of yoga trainers will start with exams, and the process of evaluation can take place. The MoU also facilitates collaboration in research, education, and training in the field of yoga. A Saudi Yoga Committee has been formed which will have the power of an independent yoga federation just like any other sports federation.