Russia Bans Yoga, Calling It A Cult

The city of Nizhnevartovsk in Russia have banned the practise of yoga, in an effort to reuce the spread of cults. 

Yoga studios in the area have received letters from Russian officials telling them that all classes must be halted immediately. reports:

The move is crucial “in order to prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements,” reads the letter.

A 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.

Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that encompasses physical exercises and a focus on deep breathing.