Iranian police arrest 30 people during yoga class

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Authorities in Iran arrested 30 people as they took part in a private yoga class in Gorgan, a city in the north of the country, according to an official news agency, the Young Journalists Club.

The men and women in the class were participating while wearing inappropriate clothes, the Young Journalists Club said.

The Young Journalists Club quoted a member of the Crime Prevention Unit in the Golestan Province judiciary as saying that the yoga teacher was among those arrested, and that his case had been referred to the the prosecutor’s office.

The Tasnim news agency also reported on the case.

The Crime Prevention Unit official said the man teaching the yoga class had advertised it on social media, according to the Young Journalists Club, and that he did not have a license to teach.

Mixed sports are illegal in Iran. Yoga is legal so long as classes are single-sex and the teacher is licensed to teach it.

A number of yoga schools in Iran advertise their services online, and numerous yoga associations publicize that they have instructors based in the country. The Times of India reported that in September 2018 an Iranian women’s team participated in the 8th Asian Yoga Sports Championship in India.

In 2017, Ali Majdara, president of Iran’s Sports For All Federation, wrote on the Iranian Sports Ministry website announcing a ban on activities that include rhythmic motions and dance, such as Zumba.