Russian Officials Crack Down on Yoga in Bid to Stifle Spread
in the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have moved to
prevent municipal buildings from hosting yoga classes in a
stated bid to stifle the spread of religious cults, the Kommersant
business daily reported.
of at least two of the city's Hatha yoga studios the
Aura and Ingara have received letters outlining Nizhnevartovsk
officials' plans to halt yoga classes in city facilities.
Both schools rent out space at a stadium and public meeting
hall called Samotlor.
of the letters, seen by Kommersant and addressed from Nizhnevartovsk
First Deputy Head Sergei Levkin to the head of social and
youth policy Marianna Parfenova asks that she take all necessary
measures to stop Hatha yoga lessons from taking place at the
move is crucial "in order to prevent the spread of new
religious cults and movements," reads the letter.
second letter, sent to the heads of the departments for physical
culture and education, refers to Hatha yoga as "inextricably
linked to religious practices" and as having "an
occult character," Kommersant reported Friday.
yoga is a branch of yoga that encompasses physical exercises
and a focus on deep breathing.