International Yoga Day – In Jakarta, Be Careful What You Chant!

It has never occurred to me to attempt anything remotely connected to yoga, total relaxation with the benevolent assistance of Mr. Jim Beam or Mr. Johnny Walker having much more appeal.


  • But I wish them well, those flexible folk who do amazing things with their limbs, whilst emitting strange  ‘om, om, om‘-like noises….
  • OM CHANTING – Yoga to relax the body and mind – YouTube  – Om is the name of God. One must start their yoga practices by chanting this mantra.
  • ….and note their big day is today!



But any yoga fans here in Indonesia should beware! The self-styled ‘scholars’ of the MUI could be down on you like a tunnabrix!

…the MUI issued a fatwa related to yoga.

Secretary of the MUI Fatwa Commission,  Asrorun Niam,  conveyed the relevant decision… 

1.  yoga with rituals of other religions, then for Muslims it’s forbidden.

2.  yoga containing spiritual meditation and mantras, connected to other creeds, is haram, as a preventive measure (sadd al-dzari’ah).

3.  yoga breathing exercises, purely for the sake of health. are permissible.

So puff-puff-puff is okay, but none of this ‘om-0m-om‘ stuff, right?

Even if you simply find it relaxing, no idea of its ‘divine’ connotations ( I didn’t till I looked it up last night!) and even if the rhythm just helps you keep time with your wriggling… 

No chanting!

Why make such a fuss about such a trivial matter?

I was in the Hypermart, shopping for cat-food, the other day, and, it being Ramadan, the muzak was very Islamic, including a rather melodious song, from one of those ‘morally uplifting’ soaps we had on tv a few years ago.

I found myself humming along with it –  no plans to become an ‘apostate’ and join Asrorun’s lot, just liked the sound.

Which I imagine is what the yoga people do, if they do, when bending arms and legs in all directions.


  • asrorun-niam-sholeh-_110920193748-249  Asrorun in Fatwa mode! 

Fanatic Stirs JIS Storm – MUI’s Asrorun Demands Sectarian Schooling! 


When Asrorun, who BTW is a REAL piece of work (check our link above) handed down these diktats, last year, he got a sharp response from a gorgeous sinetron star here, named Kiki Amalia, who sounds like a big yoga fan. 




“I do not understand, I’ve just been following yoga over the years. I never do spells…I do it for slimming!”

Don’t really want her too slim, but I’m sure she wasn’t the only one bemused by the bleating of the ‘scholars,’ who are forever finding new things to whine about, whilst refraining from condemnation of real evils.

They see nothing wrong with female circumcision, but loathe religious liberty for Muslims who dissent from their dogmatic version of theology. 

They want to ban women from travelling on ojeks (motorcycle taxis) while they harbour at their senior levels one of the most bloodthirsty extremists in the archipelago, who wanted a harmless local atheist put to death for his comments critical of religion.… a five-year jail term would not suffice. “He deserves the death penalty, even if he decides to repent. What he has done cannot be tolerated…”

And another top MUI man, Amidhan is on record telling us not to complain if we’re attacked by bone-headed bigots during Ramadan. Islamist ‘Scholars’ – “Don’t Complain if You’re Attacked!” 


But I do wonder if at least part of their objection to yoga is that a lot of the women who enjoy the exercise do look good. Like Kiki, above, and this unknown beauty…



And women looking attractive is absolute ANATHEMA to the MUI.


The Deputy Secretary General, Indonesian Ulema Council ( MUI ) Welya Safitri, added that the Aceh model is a good example…most importantly, wearing the hijab must meet three conditions. That it’s Shariah compliant, conceals the genitals and shows no curves.



‘Scholars’ on Scarfs – ‘Must Be Shariah-Compliant, Hide Genitals, Show No Curves!’