Not all yoga flash mobs are created equal. When the Vancouver Aquarium announced monthly yoga classes with the whales, local yogactivists mobilized to put a stop to it. About 20 people showed up last Thursday to protest the event holding signs reading “Yoga does not make whale jails okay!” and advocating ahimsa an compassion.
“We’re protesting captivity and we’re also protesting the use of yoga as a gimmick in order to get the Aquarium more money,” protest organizer and local yoga teacher Corie Kielbiski said. Kielbiski has been an animal activist for years and has been fighting for the release of whales in captivity, including and especially those at the Vancouver Aquarium.
“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 page for the protest says.
Other protestors said that the monthly yoga classes beside the beluga whales would be an oxymoron and against what yoga stands for as far as ahimsa and non-violence are concerned.
The protest reached major news outlets and the Vancouver Aquarium has issued a statement in response:
”We have offered three public yoga sessions at the Vancouver Aquarium. Future sessions have not been confirmed. The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. All proceeds directly support the Aquarium’s conservation, research and education programs.”
We’ve heard about lots of yoga classes being held at aquariums over recent years, but this is the first time we’ve heard about a protest. Do you agree that it goes against the concept of ahimsa?