Yoga is a great regimen for maintaining positive lifestyle, says Indian consul general in Jeddah

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Updated 19 June 2020

Yoga is a great regimen for maintaining positive lifestyle, says Indian consul general in Jeddah

  • Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh: I have been practicing yoga for the last 28 years

JEDDAH: Despite popular perceptions, yoga is not only a regimen for physical well-being but also a positive lifestyle, according to the Indian consul general in Jeddah.
“This year, on June 21, we are celebrating the sixth International Yoga Day,” Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh told Arab News.
He said that he was very happy that Saudi Arabia had recognized Yoga as a sports activity.
“I have been practicing yoga for the last 28 years. It all started with my father, who worked in the police department. One day in 1992, he brought home a wall poster illustrating 32 yoga asanas (postures). The next morning, I tried to do all of them, except for one asana ‘Shirshasana’ (headstand),” he said.
He added that he was able to do all the others postures as he played football, and also learned Taekwondo from his uncle, who was a black belt holder.
He mastered “Shirshasana” after intense practice, and was finally able to stand on his head. This exercise has since become his favorite, he said, adding that most of his siblings and his children are also fans of yoga.
The consul general said that he had many Muslims asking him why he practices yoga as a Muslim. “They are surprised when I tell them one can choose the asanas in which one finds comfort, and that one may simply take it as a sports activity. There is no compulsion in yoga and practicing yoga has immense benefits.”
Yoga, Sheikh said, had given him a great deal of stamina, perseverance, and self-confidence.
“I have been instrumental in supporting International Yoga Day from the first year right up to the present in Jeddah,” he said.
He added that he was proud of Nouf Al-Marwaai, the president and founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation and Saudi Arabia’s first female yoga master, who he described as “a genuine enthusiast for the propagation of yoga in Jeddah and all over the Kingdom.”
Al-Marwaai and her foundation have been participating in the Indian Consulate’s celebrations of International Yoga Day for some time.
In 2018, she was awarded India’s Padma Shri — the country’s fourth-highest civilian award — for her role in promoting yoga in the Kingdom.
Sheikh said that besides wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing during these testing times, people should not neglect their physical and mental well-being and practice yoga. “One should also maintain calm and patience and avoid panic. Yoga can be a great regimen for this.”
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted India’s proposal and proclaimed June 21 as International Yoga Day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested it in 2014.
“Yoga embodies the unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being,” Modi told the UNGA.


Desalination tunnel project completed in Saudi Arabia’s Taif

Updated 18 September 2020

Desalination tunnel project completed in Saudi Arabia’s Taif

  • The project, carried out by the Kingdom’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), took 19 months to complete

LONDON: Work on the longest desalinated water pipeline tunnel system in the world has been completed, project coordinators in Saudi Arabia announced on Friday.

The tunnel, which measures 12.5 kilometers long at a width of 8.4 meters, will pump desalinated water to reservoirs in Taif to meet the demand for water in the governorate and in its villages in the southern Al-Baha region.

The project, carried out by the Kingdom’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), took 19 months to complete — starting with excavation work at Al-Hada mountains — and has shortened the distance of water reaching Taif by more than 40km.

Makkah region officials tweeted about the completion of the project, which was completed ahead of schedule.

SWCC said it was ready to receive water in its storage units in Taif and estimate that desalinated water will begin reaching Al-Baha region in the third quarter of 2021.