DUBAI: Thirty people were arrested at a private yoga session in the Iranian city of Gorgan, the BBC has reported.
Those arrested were taking part in a mixed-class yoga session, led by an instructor who didn’t have the appropriate license to run the class.
They were wearing “inappropriate outfits” and had “behaved inappropriately,” according to local justice department official Massoud Soleimani, without giving further details.
Soleimani said the residence was already being monitored for some time before the arrests.
Mixed-gender sporting activities, including professional-level yoga teaching, are banned in Iran.
The incident became a hot topic online with some Twitter users questioning Iran’s hardline policies.
“An establishment that finds even yoga harmful does not need the USS Abraham Lincoln warship to end its existence,” one Twitter user wrote.
In 2017, Iranian sports authorities banned Zumba and “any harmonious movement or body-shaking instruction,” as it contravenes “Islamic ideology.”
Despite the ban, there have been public gatherings of yoga fans in the country over the past years, according to BBC.