BC Ministry of Health, yoga is essential for wellbeing. Yoga is Wellness not Fitness.

BC Ministry of Health, yoga is essential for wellbeing. Yoga is Wellness not Fitness.

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Lara von Waldenburg started this petition to Minister Adrian Dix (B.C Minister of Health) and

Yoga is a health and wellness practice, not a fitness practice as defined and treated by the provincial government and the Provincial Health Officer. Yoga should therefore be recognized by the Province of British Columbia as an essential service.

Background – Personal Story:

As a yoga practitioner of 30 years and teacher for the last 10 years I can attest to benefits that yoga offers. I have witnessed profound healing from pain, emotional distress, trauma, grief, anxiety and more. Yoga connects us to our human experience, each other, our earth, and the community we live in. I witness and experience profound and positive change through 'living yoga.' well above and beyond fitness.

Last Month the Yoga studio that I co-own was forced to close due to being deemed unessential by being placed under the mandates of 'Fitness' instead of 'Wellness'. We witnessed several other studios close as well and this is a considerate deprivation to our communities. Directly upon closing we were overwhelmed by the response from our community. Words like 'distress', 'grief' and 'loss' were frequent as were words like 'healing', 'growth', ‘well-being’ and 'belonging'. Yoga deserves to be deemed essential and in the category of wellness so that we can continue to offer yoga to our community members in an inclusive manner without discrimination.

Anonymous Feedback - In response to closing:

"I hope that things change so that you feel that you can reopen again at some future point, hopefully, not a distant future. You are an important and integral part of our community.   I absolutely agree with your comments about not being deemed an essential service and hope that that changes as well.  If there is any way we can lend our voices to make this change happen I will be happy to do so."

"This studio gave me the opportunity to love yoga and meditation in a way I never knew existed!" 

"through my experience at Inner Vision I at least got on the meditation path. Meditation has been my salvation  through these strange times and I thank you for that."

"I can't tell you how very sad I am to be losing such a beautiful and important service in our community.  I know that I only started attending your classes, but I am deeply saddened that you have been forced to make such a decision. Both of you brought so much joy and light  to the students who attended, and I know that I am only one of many who are devastated by this chain of events."

Rationale Supporting the Purpose of this Petition:

According to the ancient teachings of yoga defined as an "Indigenous practice that has it's origins in Egypt and the Indus Valley - two ancient civilizations that date back 5000 years." Meesha Sharma, in a Healthline Article, states "One of the most harmful myths that creates erasure of the essence of yoga is that it is simply a workout. Yoga is a holistic philosophy that gifts us a set of tenets which teach us how we can navigate life in a spiritually aligned way." Patanjali, a sage from India's medieval age, famously defines it as the “restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness.”

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/the-8-limbs-of-yoga#history

https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/philosophy/who-was-patanjali/

Yoga is a holistic practice involving mind, body and energy that qualify this as a health and wellness practice.  A "health and wellness" practice defined by the Global Wellness Institute says “Wellness is linked to holistic health—that is, it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work in harmony. Wellness is an individual pursuit—we have self-responsibility for our own choices, behaviors and lifestyles—but it is also significantly influenced by the physical, social and cultural environments in which we live.”

https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/what-is-wellness/

Wellness means that our health and vitality are encompassed by physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal, social and environmental well-being. Yoga incorporates all these elements and is thus clearly a means to attain wellness rather than fitness. 

According to Medical News Today, "Experts define physical fitness as ‘one’s ability to execute daily activities with optimal performance, endurance and strength with the management of disease, fatigue and stress and reduced sedentary behavior.” Yoga is therefore not limited to being a fitness practice as defined above. The physical component of yoga is only one limb of an eight limbed tree.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7181

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/the-8-limbs-of-yoga#history

Wellbeing as, defined by the Mental Health Foundation, says ‘Wellbeing can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole."

The subject of this petition affects all yoga instructors and practitioners throughout BC and Canada.  Yoga needs to be deemed essential and in the category of wellness so that we can continue to offer yoga to our community members without discrimination and therefore should not be labelled under the fitness umbrella with restrictions that apply.

In supporting this petition, you are supporting this statement: Yoga is an essential health and wellness practice and service.

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!