President Vladimir Putin is no stranger to banning random acts, objects or practices in Russia without much reason. The country's most recent ban may be the most peculiar.
In what Russian officials describe as a crackdown on activities associated with "religious cults," yoga is in the process of banning yoga, according to News.com.AU.
Officials added that yoga "must be banned from all public spaces for the safety of the Russian people."
Authorities in the Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have sent letters to two studios 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, The Moscow Times reports.
Both studios rent out space at a stadium and public meeting hall called Samotlor.
The letters received by the studios urge them to "prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements." The letters also identify Hatha yoga as being "inextricably linked to religious practices" and ask the property owners to put a stop to the classes accordingly.
Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that encompasses physical exercises and a focus on deep breathing.
"Everybody is scared and amused", Inga Pimenova, a teacher at the Ingara School, said.