The BBC recently run an article “Does yoga have a conspiracy theory problem?”

The article covers propagation of theories about Covid being a hoax, and allied anti vaccination and anti mask/protection sentiment.  These sentiments are linked closely to far right conspiracy theory groups, who I will not name explicitly on here..

Following on from this, British Wheel of Yoga, the self appointed – and thus meaningless and without authority – “governing body for yoga in UK” has issued a statement:

“A message to our members and followers:

“Following a number of comments and enquiries we have been asked for the formal position of the BWY regarding the Covid vaccine.

“As a charity and a membership organisation the mission of the BWY is to promote a greater understanding of yoga through education and training, and to support its members in their practice and teaching.  BWY adopts no political position and offers no view or guidance on other matters.  Therefore, in the interests of clarity we invite you, our members and followers, to make a decision over the Covid vaccine that sits comfortably with your own views, and your own conscience and we request that the choices and opinions of others, whether they accord with your own or not, are respected.  In the spirit of yoga we must all make our own assessment and give everyone else the space to do the same.

“In that same spirit we also respect that not all members will agree with us; but we nonetheless do not align ourselves with any particular viewpoint.  It is not within our remit as an organisation and as members, showing respect for the individual journey and “truth” of others is paramount.”  (BWY 17th February 2021)

As the principal of Yinspire Yoga and Yinspire Yoga Therapy, I make a statement as follows:

  1. Covid is a real and present health risk, causing a high number of fatalities and serious long term illnesses
  2. Yinspire and myself are not members of, nor aligned in anyway to, British Wheel of Yoga
  3. I distance myself from the BWYs ambivalence which I consider reckless
  4. I distance myself from any conspiracy theories circulating within the Yoga world
  5. Satya (truth) and Ahimsa (non harming) are two key principles of Yoga.  Taken together I consider it difficult to reach a conclusion other than following WHO, NHS and Government advice around taking individual and collective social precautions, and having the vaccine when offered

I doubt anybody likes the loss of freedoms we have experienced in the UK over the last 11 months, and I for one look forward to being able to shop, socialise and travel freely, as well as being able to run Yoga classes again.  But for now, we need to follow the advice of Medical and Science professionals.

JG 18.2.2021