Authorities to review ban in yoga centers
Gamze Kolcu - ANKARATurkish officials have decided to review a directive which banned religious symbols and playing music specific to various religions at yoga studios.
“We believe that having the word ‘religion’ in the directive is not appropriate. We will open the directive to debate,” said President Erdal Zorba of the Sports for Everyone Federation of Turkey (HİS), the authority that released the directive in question.
Zorba said they will debate the directive after receiving input from yoga teachers. He also said the board had held two workshops with the yoga community in the directive’s preparation phase.
In regards to playing music during mediation and at studios, the board could have incorrectly expressed some provisions, Zorba stated.
The yoga community will be able to express their views about the provisions in the directive, he said.
Displaying religious symbols and playing music specific to various religions at yoga centers was banned according to a directive released by the Sports for Everyone Federation of Turkey (HİS), which officials argued was to take measures against missionary activities.
Consequently, having Buddha sculptures and symbols as well as the playing of religious music and burning of incense could be considered violations, which could lead to studio closures.
Yoga trainers have reacted against the directive, which included the phrase “different religions,” saying yoga cannot be considered a religion and the use of symbols was normal.