The Vancouver Aquarium is offering yogis the chance to practice yoga with whales.
To be held in the Aquarium’s Arctic Gallery, participants can practice yoga alongside two beluga whales, Qila and Aurora.
However, one yoga teacher, Corie Kielbiski, finds this disturbing and organized a protest for Thursday morning outside the Vancouver Aquarium.
About 20 people showed up to protest the event.
“We’re protesting captivity and we’re also protesting the use of yoga as a gimmick in order to get the Aquarium more money,” says Kielbiski.
“Stretching, breathing, connecting and finding peace, while two beautiful creatures are trapped in glass boxes around you would be entirely impossible, unethical and ridiculous to entertain,” the event’s page reads.
“How could one visit, let alone practice yoga next to confined creatures? Especially as majestic as beluga whales.”
Another yoga teacher, Cynthia Ganatra, says yoga is about liberation and freedom, and the animals are not free in the Aquarium.
“It goes against what yoga believes and it doesn’t really make sense,” she says.
They say they did not receive any response from the yoga teacher hosting the event.
Kielbiski says some people attending the class were interested in talking to them and learning more about what they were protesting.
The Vancouver Aquarium released the following statement to Global News:
“We have offered three public yoga sessions at the Vancouver Aquarium. Future sessions have not been confirmed. The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. All proceeds directly support the Aquarium’s conservation, research and education programs.”
Watch: Unfiltered – Fighting for captive whales through yoga
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