Yogis Protest Aquarium Class

Some yoga students in Vancouver feel that a class held in front of a Beluga whale exhibit at the city's aquarium violates the yogic precept of ahimsa, or non-harming.

photo by Paul Rowand / Global News


From stand up paddleboard yoga to yoga and chess, these days people mix yoga with a wide variety of activities in lots of different locations. In Vancouver, a teacher recently led a yoga class next to two Beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium, but not everyone agreed that this was a harmonious mix.

Last week, a group of approximately 20 showed up outside the aquarium to protest the classes, according to a report by Global News. The protest was organized by yoga teacher Corie Kielbiski, who said practicing yoga next to captive whales is a violation of the yogic principle of ahimsa (non-harming).

“Stretching, breathing, connecting and finding peace, while two beautiful creatures are trapped in glass boxes around you would be entirely impossible, unethical and ridiculous to entertain,” the Facebook event reads.

“These animals and others, deserve to be freed so they can find what many yoga students are searching for–freedom and peace.”

The Vancouver Aquarium’s website says the class is an “incredible opportunity to see just how inquisitive and calming belugas are as their presence supports you into finding your own stillness and calm.” It a statement released to Global News, aquarium officials said that while three yoga classes have been offered to the public, future sessions “have not been confirmed.”

Do you think practicing yoga at an aquarium violates ahimsa?