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Big Push for Yoga in Major Universities

by Eddie Rayner

The growing popularity of yoga in Saudi Arabia has reached unprecedented heights. Nouf Al-Marwaai, President of the Saudi Yoga Committee, announced at a recent forum session in Riyadh, organized by the Saudi Universities Sports Federation under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education, that many agreements will be signed with major universities to support and promote yoga over the next several months.

Nouf Al-Marwaai was speaking at a forum entitled ‘The Role of University Sports in Supporting the Kingdom’s Vision in Sports’, where she underlined the importance of yoga in the university system and mentioned Yogasana Sports, as well as the organization of the first championship in the Kingdom and the Middle East in collaboration with leading Saudi universities, such as the University of Business and Technology in Jeddah.

“Yoga gives its practitioners many health benefits, both physical and mental wellbeing”

During the fourth session, which went under the banner of ‘Development and Promotion of New Sports Games in Universities’, Nouf Al-Marwaai explained that her participation was centered on introducing yoga to universities and emphasizing the importance of practicing it for health and wellness for both university staff and students of both genders. “Yoga gives its practitioners many health benefits, both physical and mental wellbeing. One of the most important pillars of achieving Vision 2030 is to enhance participation in sports activities, and to achieve sports excellence locally, continentally, and internationally,” Nouf Al-Marwaai explained.

Nouf Al-Marwaai went on to say that yoga is more than just meditation and relaxation, that it also comprises Asana posture practice, Pranayama breathing techniques, Bandhas muscle control, and Dhayan and Yoga Nidra meditation and relaxation. She asked that yoga become one of the most sustainable activities in universities, whether it is for health and wellbeing, Hatha yoga and its traditional traditions, or Yogasana Sports for athletic and advanced students.