Woman says she was asked to leave East Vancouver yoga studio for wearing mask

A woman says she was asked to leave the Bikram Yoga studio on Commercial Drive because she refused to take off her mask. Getty Images

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.

Read more: No, hot yoga won’t kill the coronavirus, say B.C. health officials after studio’s misleading email

Due to previous health problems, Cloth says it’s important for her to wear a mask at indoor public outings.

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

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. supermarkets ask customers to wear masks

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She claims right before the class, one of the owners approached her and told her about their mask policy.

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Then, she says he offered her a full refund for her to leave.

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

Watch: Video shows woman refuses to wear mask in Toronto hospital

“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.

Read more: Yoga studio in Delta shut down after claiming hot yoga fights coronavirus

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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