Russia Cracks Down on Yoga to Contain Occultism


Moscow: Close on the heels of India leading worldwide International Yoga Day Celebration, Yoga classes have been banned in a central Russian city by the authorities to check spread of ‘religious occultism’.

The authorities in the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have asked the two Hatha Yoga studies — Auro and Ingara — to stop holding yoga classes.

At the centre of the crackdown are two studios holding classes for Hatha Yoga involving deep breathing and tough physical exercises, which as per Hindu mythology was first practised by Lord Shiva.

Yoga is known as an ancient Indian spiritual and exercise discipline to balance mind, body and spirit, while millions across the globe joined in spectacular celebrations to mark the first International Yoga Day on June 21.