Yoga and trust

Yoga is fast becoming an endangered species in Malaysia, as the National Fatwa Council will come out with a ruling on yoga exercise and a possible ban of Yoga for Muslims.

“Director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the ruling would be made after an in-depth study over six months was done and after the matter was referred to the council three times. The ruling is related to the faith of Muslims who practised yoga. Yoga, related to health, has been practised since 3,300BC and is said to help slow down aging, reduce risk of diabetes, asthma and heart-related diseases.”

His fear is that since Yoga has its roots in Hinduism and since many poses, positions and concentration techniques are based on elements of Hinduism, Muslims could deviate from their belief.

There are two ways of how people look at behaviour and how we create respective rules inside of our heads:

– One rule is that everything that is not allowed is forbidden – this is called the Roman Rule. 
- The other rule is that everything is allowed until it is forbidden – this is called the British Rule.

The Roman Rule basically states that no one can do anything that is not specifically allowed. A life full of rules and norms. A life in this environment is not very supportive of creativity and surely does not indicate trust toward others. It is a secured life, where people go about their life, and don’t deviate from their habits. Life and energy is channeled and very much the same. Since life can get complicated and messy, the “rulebook” is thick.

Is the Yoga issue related to this rule? Is it not possible that people are matured enough to choose their way of going about their life? That they actually know what is good for them? That, if something is against their belief, they simply reject it?

The British Law encourages trust and creativity. It allows people to experiment. It is possible to break the rules, as long as it does not harm society (most cultures forbid that). People are trusted to know how to run their life.

You can apply this by looking around in your organisation. Are you allowed to experiment? Or are you reprimanded when you break the rules? Is the employee handbook thick and full of rules? Are people saying that this is the way it has always been done? And will never change? Do people talk about “don’t change the rules, it will confuse others?” It is possible that you live in a culture imprinted by the Roman Rule.

On the other hand, may be you work in a culture that allows flexibility? Where teams are formed and experiments are conducted? Where you are allowed to break the rules and improve? Where the boss encourages you to find new ways of doing things?

Interesting, he?

So, ask yourself, how are you looking at the world and judge behaviour?


Andreas is the founder of Asia Mind Dynamics and a certified trainer of internationally recognised certification programmes:

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP),
  • NLP Coach Training with the Coaching Division of ABNLP,
  • The Words That Change Minds -Language and Behaviour Profile of which he also is one of 17 Global Master Trainers
  • Creating Your Future Coaching™ Techniques at the Masters Level with the International Timeline Therapy Association
  • Hypnosis with the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
  • Master Trainer with the International Association of Counsellors and Therapists (IACT).

We also train companies to achieve higher performance especially through our signature programmes on Leadership, Sales and Advanced Communications.

To find out more about us or our programme and what makes us so very different as trainer and coaches, send an email to andreas.dorn AT or contact us at +6012 287 5048.

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