They went for a whole stretch of days and were quite pleased with the progress made in terms of their fitness levels, and the ability to fit into blue jeans again.
And then it got to the stage of mind over matter. Or something. Oneness, and what not.
I wouldn’t know as I wasn’t there but both decided that it was not something they’d want to venture in.
Did I mention that my wife’s secretary is a devout Christian?
Being stuck in routine 8am to 6pm job, my wife found the idea of social exercise club heaven sent, and yoga – early on – seemed a good idea with an all-female membership, close vicinity to her workplace and a structured fitness system.
She didn’t fancy hitting the gym or swimming, and walks in the park are basically a weekend thing so Yoga was it.
The National Fatwa Council’s recent decree on Yoga just affirms what both she and her secretary felt at odd with.
(My wife is now eyeing Pilates as her fitness regime and learning the ropes via the idiot box and a VCD. Her secretary meanwhile practices "speed marketing" in Singapore.)
Couldn’t have the Council be a bit more proactive over such matters? Nip whatever “kesangsian” there is at the bud, so as to speak.
Yoga has been around for a long, long time and is not even a recent phenomenon in the country.
There are things that are more current and shimmering which the Council should look at in earnest; issues that have more meat for discourses such as the right to practice religions, the amalgamation of Civil and Syariah laws, or the controversial ISA, for a few examples.
What of the study by Suhakam for children attaining the age of majority to be given the right to choose their religions ?
These are some of the worthy issues the Council should discuss and reveal their thoughts on.
Things like chants and mantras accompanying Yoga moves or any other activities - Silat, for example - most Muslims know and accept as wrong anyway.
Hence the oft-quoted defense of only practicing the moves from their practitioners.
Being dismissive of an issue's seriousness would only lead ignorance to rule public discourse over such matters and half measured efforts are equally damaging.
During an assignment of covering a Malaysian Nature Society’s function in an Orang Asli’s village in Gopeng, I walked upon a group of women cooking curry in a huge pot, supposedly for lunch.
Their answer when I queried what dish it was: “Babi hutan. Boleh makan sebab dah sembelih. (Roughly translated: Wild boar. Can be eaten as it’s been slaughtered.)
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Ignore the practitioner and enjoy the scene.