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Vancouver yoga studio promises Trump-free zen

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the recent developments in the United States, a Vancouver yoga studio is offering up a Trump-free zone.

Julie Peters, the owner of the Ocean and Crow yoga studio on Commercial Drive, says she noticed she was starting to feel stressed about the situation across the border and President Donald Trump’s first couple of weeks in office.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Week 1: Size matters, ‘the Trump effect’ and Fox in the White House

“I could not really get away from it,” said Peters. “I was feeling helpless and not sure what to do about it. Everywhere I turned, there seemed to be a new piece of information that was stressful in some completely new way.”

So on Tuesday, she decided to post a note on her studio’s front door, promising her clients serenity that will not be interrupted by any Trump talk.

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The poster reads, “We know the world is really intense right now. Especially if we care about what’s going on, we need to have spaces where we can rest, reset and hit pause on the constant inflow of news.”

The poster goes on to ask students to avoid talking about news while in the studio. Moreover, anyone who would like to bring something political up is asked to get permission first.

“Be aware of who you may be accidentally including in your conversation in our small space,” the poster reads.

Peters says she feels getting bombarded by information and people’s opinions on U.S. politics on social media leaves the majority of people so stressed, they can’t do anything productive about it.

“When your nervous system is overtaxed in that way, it’s incredibly hard to be focused and empathetic,” Peters said. “I think now is the time when we really need to be listening to each other.”

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But Peters is adamant this is not a call to disengage.

“I am not saying, stop engaging altogether or avoid what’s going on in the world, but rather – here is a space where you can regain some of your footing, so you can really choose the actions that you want to take.”

Peters says they have always been a feminist and body-positive studio, and have a community of people who are already quite politically engaged and sensitive about what goes on in the world.

She says the reaction to her poster was almost overwhelmingly positive.

“Some people came in and said nothing, but some people said, thank you so much, what a relief, I really needed to have a space like this,” said Peters. “A yoga studio is not necessarily where you discuss politics a lot, but it is nice to have an explicit boundary in place.”

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