Now that yoga studios in the District of Columbia have been lumped together with fitness centers and tanning studios for the purpose of paying the local sales tax, some advocates are advancing the argument that yoga is not really (or exclusively) a physical fitness activity.
City Desk Should Yoga Be Exempt from the “Yoga Tax”?
The Yoga Alliance, a national nonprofit yoga advocacy organization that boasts more than 50,000 registered yoga instructors as members, argues that yoga is not actually a fitness program and should be exempt from the new sales tax that has come to be known as the “Yoga Tax.”
This whole debate gets into the shifting definition of yoga in the U.S. mainstream culture and marketplace. On one side, Christian critics say that yoga is a religious proselytizing activity. The counterargument is that it’s not religious, spiritual at most, and, more commonly, physical as practiced in the United States. Others lament that the “yoga industry” is making billions of dollars a year, which contradicts the whole claim that yoga studios should be exempt from sales taxes.