Saudi Arabia's first yoga festival attracts more than 1,000 people

The event was held at Juman Park in Jeddah's King Abdullah Economic City

Jeddah hosted the first Saudi Yoga Festival on Saturday. Photo: Saudi Yoga Committee
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Hundreds of people showed up to Saudi Arabia's first yoga festival, which was held on Saturday at Juman Park in Jeddah's King Abdullah Economic City.

The event was organised by the Saudi Yoga Committee, which was established by the Saudi Olympic Committee under the Ministry of Sports in May 2021. At its helm is the kingdom's first female certified yoga instructor Nouf Almarwaai, who also founded the Arab Yoga Foundation.

It was a one-day affair, with more than eight hours of classes from local and international yoga masters, from aerial to vinyasa, plus lectures, meditation and mindfulness sessions.

People of all ages, from babies to the elderly, participated.

Among the instructors were Saudi Arabia's Dana Algosaibi and noted Lebanese teacher Natalie Kriedeih.

Almarwaai said the festival was organised in a bid to promote yoga within Saudi society, encouraging citizens to follow a healthy and active lifestyle, tying in with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 mandates on health and wellness.

She said the practice has grown in popularity in the country over the past decade, and many new yoga studios and centres have opened, as the Ministry of Sports has granted new licences, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The event received a largely positive reaction. "Unbelievable! Saudi Arabia is changing," wrote one Twitter user.

"Congratulations on a fantastic event. Well organised. Amazing to see so many yoga lovers," said another.

Updated: January 31, 2022, 7:22 AM