Yoga has made inroads in a madrassa in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh but the only change made in the traditional discipline is that the 'asana' session for students is started by chanting 'Bismillah' and 'Rahim'.
Impressed by the power of yoga, which helped his neighbour Isrial regain his health after being bed-ridden for a long time, Mohammad Imran, the principal of Jamia Imdadul Uloom, Karari, decided to introduce Yoga for some 600 children, both boys and girls.
"Isrial, who was bed-ridden for a long time regained his health with the help of yoga and this prompted me to think of introducing it for the school children for improving their health", Mohammad Imran told PTI on phone.
"In order to avoid any problem, we decided to use Rahim in place of Om during the asanas as both the words give the same message," Imran said.
The first week-long yoga camp was inaugurated by a religious leader with recital of the Holy Quran on December 19, he said, adding there is a great enthusiasm among the children about it.
The locals in the Muslim dominated area, who had initially expressed some reservations and branded yoga as a "Hindu" way of life, were apprised of its power and they gradually relented, Imran said.
The camp for boys and girls are being held separately in different shifts.
Seeing the response of the parents and guardians, Imran now hopes that other madrassa would also follow suit by organising similar camps as "there should be enough flexibility in accepting anything which is beneficial for the people."
"The Quran Shareif has also not said anything against yoga besides this step could help both communities have a better understanding of each other", Imran said.
Yoga instructor Kuldeep Khare, who is helping Imran conduct the yoga classes, said, "If other such requests are made I would definitely help besides making efforts on my own to make people aware of its benefits so that they can take advantage of it".
"This step could attract more Muslims towards yoga", he said.