Friday, March 13, 2009

What Fatwa? Bali’s Yoga Tourists Follow Their Bliss

Hundreds of yoga tourists in Bali have now joined author Salman Rushdie in an exclusive club: those who have defied a fatwa. This week’s International Bali-India Yoga Festival—which drew participants from the U.S., Germany, Sweden and Japan—proceeded as planned despite a recent edict by Indonesia’s Ulema Council banning the practice of yoga for all Indonesian Muslims.

The New York Times reports that festival organizers initially conceived the event to boost spiritual tourism on the island and decided to go forward with it as a public show of force against the fatwa. Bali’s governor, no doubt aware of the island’s growing yoga tourism potential, has said he will not enforce the ruling.

Who knew sun salutations could be this fraught?

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