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JEDDAH: Yoga – an ancient art, science and sport combined – is taking a modern twist as Saudi Arabia begins planning for specialized academies and training institutes to cater to the growing community of devotees in the Kingdom.

As part of the 8th International Yoga Day, the Saudi Yoga Committee, in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports, launched its own page on the Nafes platform to encourage investment in yoga by opening halls, academies and institutes to train instructors and expedite the licensing of studios and centers.

“Due to the high demand for yoga in the Kingdom, the committee aims to increase the number of yoga centers and studios in all cities so that it is easier to access and practice yoga,” said Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of Saudi Yoga. Committee.

HIGHLIGHT

As part of the 8th International Yoga Day, the Saudi Yoga Committee, in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports, launched its own page on the Nafes platform to encourage investment in yoga by opening halls, academies and institutes to train instructors and expedite the licensing of studios and centers.

Al-Marwaai said that these services and centers are concentrated in the main cities, but increasing demand has recently been noticed in the southern regions in Asir and Abha, in the north in Tabuk and Hail, and in the west in La Mecca and Medina, Yanbu and Rabigh, as well as in smaller towns like Al-Aflaj and on the outskirts of the Riyadh region.

“They all have a community of yoga instructors and practitioners,” she said.

Nouf Al-Marwaai, Chairman of the Saudi Yoga Committee.

Al-Marwaai said the committee has launched other initiatives to promote yoga sports in Saudi Arabia.

“In addition to registering yogaasana players with the Saudi Yoga Committee and licensing yoga coaches and teachers in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports on the Nafes platform, we also invite all yoga practitioners to participate in the first professional yogasana competition in the Kingdom,” she said.

“The aim of the competition is to create a platform for yoga professionals in the Kingdom and to broaden the concept of yoga tournaments and competitions, as the Saudi Yoga Committee cooperates with international bodies such as the Asian Federation of Yogasana Sports and the World Federation of Yogasana Sports. form local, regional and international championships.

The competition will be a traditional yogasana competition, consisting of three compulsory poses. The top three winners will be honored with financial prizes and will be added to the Saudi Yoga Committee as professional players.

Participants simply post a 10-second video while holding the pose on Instagram or Twitter, mentioning the Saudi Yoga Committee account and the following hashtags #Saudi_Yoga_Competition.

Al-Marwaai said the competition will encourage the practice of different types of yoga.

The contest started on June 21 and the results will be announced on July 3.

“The Saudi Yoga Committee expects a great response to these initiatives due to the large number of yoga enthusiasts, practitioners and coaches in the Kingdom,” she said.

Recently, Al-Marwaai was a guest at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, while Saudi Yoga Committee CEO Ahmed Al-Saadi attended a ceremony at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah.

Sallie R. Loera