Meet Shamshad Haider, Yoga guru of Pakistan
Pakistan is all set to celebrate international Yoga Day on June 21 as preparations for a massive event is going on in full swing.
Yes! You heard it right. Yoga in Pakistan.
While India is debating whether Yoga is against Islam or not, Pakistan, an Islamic nation, is all geared up to celebrate the international Yoga Day commemorating ancient practice, thanks to Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's ‘counterpart' in Pakistan Yoga guru Haider.
Shamshad Haider is doing all he can to organise a full scale Yoga event on June 21 and is involved in making centuries old practice popular, from Islamabad to Lahore.
His pupils also practice Surya Namskar, the controversial yoga asana, among the critics of Yoga.
Haider, a regular practitioner of Yoga who has thousands of followers, say that Yoga should not be associated with religion. He, however, does not use Vedic shlokas and asks his disciples to chant Allah's name.
Shamshad Haider's journey to become a Yoga guru has not been an easy one. Coming from a middle class family of a small village in Punjab province, he has got full support from his family in his struggle. However, freeing Yoga from the conservative religious mindset from the minds of Pakistani society was not easy for him.
Even when Yoga centre of his friend was burned down last year, it failed to deter him from his goal of making Yoga popular in Islamic country.
He has learned Yoga from India, Nepal and even from Tibet.