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Wash. State Yoga Studios Won’t Have to Pay Sales Tax, Because Yoga is Not Physical Fitness?

in Business of Yoga, YD News

Washington yoga studio owners have convinced the Revenue Department that yoga is instructional and is definitely not physical fitness! Well that was easy. What pushovers! We’re happy for the owners who now will not have to pay any back taxes and will actually have the sales tax lifted by the end of the year for those who had been charging it all along. But the argument is kinda flimsy no? Yoga is not physical fitness?

“We decided the yoga people had made a very good case that yoga, and similar kinds of things, are not really what most people think of as physical fitness,” said Mike Gowrylow, a spokesman for the state Dept of Revenue.

Anne Phyfe Palmer, owner of 8 Limbs Yoga centers in Seattle said yoga “is definitely not an aerobic exercise.”

“The primary goal of yoga is to study the mind,” she said. “We’re busy people. We’re moving all the time and so through yoga we learn to slow down and over time become more interested and adept at studying the mind.”

It’s true, the line is blurry, but you can’t tell us when we’re practicing ujjayi and come out of class dripping with sweat that we didn’t just partake in some aerobic physical fitness! Of course we know that’s not all we take from it, and again, we applaud the big win for Wash. yoga studios, but we can already hear the grumbles from the yoga-skeptic peanut gallery, not to mention those yogis who actually do enjoy yoga for fitness, like gym yoga or *cough*Bikram*cough*. There are so many types of yoga we can’t see how they could all be classified as wholely one thing or the other.

State’s Yoga Studios Won’t Have to Charge Sales Tax [Seattle Times]

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