To the long list of things that everyone else loves but that Muslims are supposed to hate — democracy, dogs, women with uncovered hair — we can now add yoga.

A council of muftis in Malaysia issued a fatwa over the weekend banning yoga for Muslims, claiming that the sweaty ‘Oms’ and other Hindu elements of a standard 60-minute yoga class could “destroy the faith of a Muslim.”

For a moment, this news had me selfishly worried.

I’ve been contorting myself into reverse triangle across the Middle East for about a decade, and I fretted that all my favorite yoga centers and teachers might get hassled by morality police types.

I also worried about my friends who do yoga — if there is one thing the stressed out populations of cities like Tehran, Baghdad, and Cairo really don’t need, it’s the loss of a safe, indoor means of relaxation. Read in full