Jumaat, November 28, 2008

It's like Yoga, but it's not.

Muslim convert introduces 'Islamic Yoga' to UK
CAIRO (Marwa Awad)
Source: Al-Arabiya.net

After searching for a year for a fitness routine compatible with her Islamic faith, Fatima Ismael, a 32-year-old British mother of three discovered Rakha, a new yoga-like workout that incorporates Islamic chants rather than Hindu mantras.

The new Islam-inspired total body fitness routine, designed by a British convert, may be the yoga alternative Muslims are searching for following a fatwa, or religious ruling, by a Malaysian sheikh denouncing yoga as un-Islamic.

Rakha, the Arabic term for prosperity, is gaining popularity among British Muslims eager for healthy lifestyles. A basic routine begins stretches and light cardiovascular exercise, which raises energy and increases awareness.

This is followed by a series of steps emulating prayer movements mixed in with tai chi techniques. Yoga breathing and stretching techniques are used throughout the routine to help center the body and relax.

Instead of Hindu mantras, anasheeds or Islam-inspired religious hymns are used to trigger the spiritual state of mind.

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