A yoga instructor guiding participants during the Yoga International Day celebration in Kuala Lumpur last year.

WE, the Malaysian Yoga Society (MYS) and the Malaysian Association of Yoga Instructors (MAYI), would like to clarify on a statement pertaining to yoga centres in the report “Ministry regulates yoga practice” (NST, May 7, 2017).

The report featured an interview that stated all forms of yoga, including the modern ones, should be regulated and that regular yoga centres, too, need to be governed by a body to ensure that instructors are qualified to teach even basic yoga.

We would like to share our facts on the above statement. In our country, certifications are issued to yoga instructors by institutions registered under the Education Ministry.

The dos and don’ts of yoga have been studied meticulously, processed with care and stated clearly in all the course materials and teaching instructions, and testing regimes are structured according to the requirements of the ministry.

Under these certification courses, the benefits and contraindications of each posture are explained.

Yoga instructors, too, undergo extensive training.

While it is commendable and rightly so that yoga therapy comes under the purview of the Health Ministry, the instructions and training for yoga instructors are regulated by the Education Ministry.

As the Education Act 1996 (Act 550) clearly states, the approval for teaching certification needs to be given by the Malaysian-registered educational institutions, and not by foreign yoga bodies.

MYS and MAYI have been spearheading the renaissance of yoga in Malaysia for the past 15 years and have maintained close communication with the Education Ministry, Health Ministry, Sports and Youth Ministry and the Human Resources Ministry.

We also have regular dialogues with vocational boards.

We hope readers have a clearer picture on this matter.

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