Pakistan Weird News: Meet Pakistan's Only Yoga Guru - Shamshad Haider

Shamshad Haider: Pakistan’s Only Yoga Guru

Yoga teacher Shamshad Haider is quickly achieving fame on Facebook and social media circles as Pakistan‘s answer to Indian guru Baba Ramdev.

Before you assume that he is an outspoked spiritual leader who specializes in opining about various socio-political topics in which his skewed views are neither needed nor wanted, let us tell you that it’s not the case.

The only similarity that Shamshad has with Ramdev is the fact that both of them are working to spread the message of Yoga, and specially the Patanjali school of the same.

Shamshad, who is based out of Pakistan’s Punjab province, has been working on spreading the art of yoga throughout Pakistan for past so many years and runs a programme called Yoga Pakistan under which he provides both free (public) and paid (private) training in yoga.

Shamshad has travelled through India, Tibet and Nepal on his quest for studying the art of yoga. He also met his wife while teaching yoga and helped her overcome asthma before deciding to get married and start teaching together.

“Just like Baba Ramdev has taken to Yoga to each and every household in India, I want to spread yoga in Pakistan,” he told in a recent story published in media.

For spreading the message of Yoga in a conservative Muslim country like Pakistan, he has centered his approach around the health benefits of yoga instead of aligning it with any specific religion. Last year a yoga centre run by one of his friends was burned to ground but that has not deterred Shamshad from his path.

When asked about the recent controversy in India surrounding Muslims objecting to encouraging of yoga in schools and Muslim leaders openly openly opposing the same, Shamshad says that the issue is entirely political and yoga should not be aligned to any religious thinking. He also states that Islam always encourages gathering of knowledge from any source and yoga falls under the same tenet.

In a Facebook video posted on his own page, he says that origins of yoga were in Pakistan’s Multan area.

The media story also mentions that Shamshad uses ‘Allah Hoo..’ instead of ‘Om…’  while doing certain asanas and he says that it makes the practitioner spiritually connected to god just like a sufi.

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