Opposition to Washington's yoga tax

Opposition to Washington's yoga tax
Opposition to Washington's yoga tax
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The News Minute | October 2, 2014 | 10 am IST

Establishments offering yoga instruction and Hindus group in the United States have opposed the tax levied on yoga.

The tax comes into effect from October, and has drawn criticism from establishments teaching yoga. The law which taxes yoga is actually meant for any establishment that offers physical exercise for fitness and well being, and is yoga is only one such practice included within the law. 

Owners of such establishments have argued that yoga establishments are not meant for physical exercise, and argued that the purpose of yoga was the “union of body, mind and spirit”. Therefore, the tax did not apply to yoga.

According to Washington Post report, the tax does not apply to yoga instruction classes, which are not taught at an establishment where physical fitness (example, gym) is not the primary purpose. For instance, if yoga is taught at a park, a shop etc, then the tax does not apply as the primary aim of the establishment was to teach yoga, and not promote it as a form of exercise. 

Hindu groups however, have taken exception to the inclusion of yoga within the law. President of the Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed said: “Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche and regulating it was kind of a religious infringement.”

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