Russian officials have targeted yoga as part a crackdown on activities associated with “religious cults”. At least two studios in the central city of Nizhnevartovsk have reportedly been sent letters by local authorities asking them to stop hosting yoga classes being taught in municipal buildings. The Aura and Ingara studios are both known to conduct classes of Hatha yoga, one of the most popular forms in Europe.

According to The Moscow Times, the letter received by both studios urges them to “prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements.” The letters identify Hatha yoga as being “inextricably linked to religious practices” and ask the property owners to put a stop to the classes accordingly. FULL REPORT