WASHINGTON – President Obama issued an executive order yesterday – putting a ten percent tax on yoga studios and everything related to yoga.
“We see this as a fairness issue,” said a source inside the White House, adding that Pilates would be next. “There’s a lot of people doing yoga and the government needs to get a piece of that action. They’ve been untaxed for too long.”
The new tax policy was met with cries of protest from the yoga business community. For years, studios budgeted without the expectation of a sales-tax hit.
“Yoga classes have been around forever and not taxed,” said Willow Lark , executive director of Yoga America.
She said the new tax policy could not have come at a worse time, with the industry just beginning to get back on its feet after the economic downturn, or what she termed “the yoga crisis.”
Like most businesses, yoga studios likely would pass the sales tax on to the customer, forcing prices up. That will cause yoga participants a great deal of stress, which will in turn, cause them to take more yoga. “That’s what we are counting on. A Yoga explosion,” said a White House source.
Lark added, “It is important that we have stress-relieving activities that are affordable to all levels of income. Something like this is a threat to that. A nation without yoga, is a nation without peace.”
On Monday afternoon, more than 2,000 yogis and Yoga managers, studio owners and instructors across the country sat down in the lotus position to meditate on what to do — they’re still there.
The Yoga community as a whole gave the tax news a big downward dog.