Woman says she was asked to leave East Van Bikram yoga studio for wearing a mask – BC

A woman claims she was asked to leave the Bikram Yoga studio on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive because she refused to take off her mask, which she was wearing to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Ali Cloth said she arrived to her session Friday morning with her mask on.

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Due to previous health problems, Cloth says it’s important for her to wear a mask anytime she leaves her home.

“I had a preliminary embolism and pneumonia previously,” she said. “So I was just mindful of my lungs and not wanting to get sick.”

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She claims right before the class, one of the owners approached her and asked her to take her mask off.

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When she refused, she says the owner offered her a full refund for her to leave.

Cloth says she’s been part of the Bikram Yoga studio for 10 years, but after this experience she’s never going back.

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“I felt I was shamed for doing something that I thought we were all being conscientious about right now.”

A message on the Bikram Yoga-Commercial Drive’s website says masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably and are not permitted inside the yoga practice room.

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According to the World Health Organization, masks are not recommended while exercising and the important preventive measure for COVID-19 spread during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one metre from others.

Global News has reached out to the Bikram Yoga studio for further comment.

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