The City of Delta suspended the business licence of Bikram Yoga Delta on Thursday, March 19 after the owner refused to cancel classes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. (James Smith photo)

The City of Delta suspended the business licence of Bikram Yoga Delta on Thursday, March 19 after the owner refused to cancel classes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. (James Smith photo)

Delta suspends business licence of studio claiming hot yoga kills COVID-19

City pulled Bikram Yoga Delta’s licence after owner refused to cancel classes amid coronavirus outbreak

A North Delta yoga studio has had its business licence suspended after the city received complaints the business wasn’t taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

The City of Delta’s bylaw enforcement department received numerous complaints after an email from Bikram Yoga Delta to its clients claiming the novel coronavirus “cannot survive in the heat” in the studio made the rounds on social media, sparking outrage among many North Delta residents.

The email opened by thanking everyone who was attending classes at the studio — where people perform a series of 26 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises over 90 minutes in a room heated to 40 C — before making a series of claims about the benefits of continuing to practice hot yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fact — This supposed virus cannot survive in the heat,” the email reads, before going on to say that “Bikram Hot Yoga is the best way to keep your immune system healthy and/or best way to build and improve your immune system to fight flu’s (sic), colds, bacteria and viruses.”

The email goes on to say the “drastic slowdown in attendance by everyone being paralized (sic) into a fear state of mind” means the studio will be reducing classes “until the worldwide non-sense subsides.”

On Thursday, March 19, the City of Delta declared a local state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move enable Mayor George Harvie to enact powers necessary to enforce the Provincial Health Officer’s verbal order to limit public gatherings and practice social distancing.

In a press release, the city said it would be taking immediate actions against any businesses that refuse to abide by the Provincial Health Officer’s directions, including closing the business and suspending its business licence.

“These are challenging times for residents and businesses in our community. By declaring a local state of emergency, we have additional abilities to protect the community. I have asked our bylaws department to enforce closures on some businesses that are not following the direction of our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry,” Harvie said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“I continue to work with all of council, staff, and senior government officials to protect this community from the impact of COVID-19.”

READ MORE: Delta declares local state of emergency amid COVID-19 outbreak (March 19, 2020)

That same afternoon, Delta bylaw inspectors following up on the public’s complaints visited Bikram Yoga Delta, finding a class in progress.

“The owner indicated he was planning to hold another class later in the day and was not prepared to voluntarily comply with a request to cancel classes in light of the state of emergency related to the spread of a potentially deadly virus,” Hugh Davies, manager of property use and compliance with the City of Delta, said in an email.

“Mayor Harvie, acting in the interest of the community and under the authority of the emergency provincial program, directed bylaw inspectors to revisit the business and suspend the current Delta business licence. The business licence was subsequently suspended and the owner was provided with written notice.

“The owner did co-operate and comply with the suspension, and the evening class was cancelled.”

Asked about the email’s claims during her daily press briefing on Thursday, March 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry debunked the notion that the heat in the studio will kill the virus.

“Yoga studios are a place where people are sweating in close next to each other — at least the ones I go to — and that is a perfect environment to spread this virus if somebody is shedding this virus,” she said.

Henry said the claim probably stems from a misinterpretation of the science around the relationship some viruses have with the environment.

“Respiratory viruses like influenza, like some of the other coronaviruses that we’ve seen, tend to fade away when it gets warmer and we have increased amounts of ultraviolet light during the spring and summer time. So we don’t see influenza, it just disappears, as it were, around this time of year,” she said. “And that’s one of the things we’ve really been pushing is we need to save our system until at least influenza goes away, and if we’re lucky this coronavirus may fade as well, it may wane away in the coming weeks.

“We know that some other respiratory viruses do that and they’re sensitive to the heat in our environment and to ultraviolet light. But that’s not in a room or in an enclosed environment.”

Henry said UV light does work to eliminate some bacteria and viruses in health care settings, “but it’s very intense UV light for many hours, so that’s not an option.”

RELATED: B.C. records new COVID-19 death as number of cases rises to 271 (March 19, 2020)

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 precautions ‘not optional,’ B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry warns (March 20, 2020)



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusDelta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Labour Minister Harry Bains addressing Surrey Board of Trade digital meeting Friday. (Screen shot)
Labour Minister says Surrey businesses’ resilience through pandemic ‘impressive’

‘Surrey’s effort in bending the curve has been among the best,’ Harry Bains says

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Students, volunteers remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

Day-long project a collaboration between city, Lower Mainland Green Team

Federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole speaks during a virtual South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce town hall on Saturday, March 6, 2021.
O’Toole says South Surrey, White Rock face ‘acute’ challenges during pandemic

Federal Conservative leader speaks at local chamber town hall

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Photo: Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
COVID-19 vaccination bookings start Monday for some Surrey seniors

First up is seniors aged 90-plus, and Indigenous seniors, elders aged 65-plus

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 closed in Metchosin, detour made available early Saturday

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement significantly expands Indigenous role in Lower Mainland policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

The driver of a pickup truck failed to stop after knocking down a wooden fence on March 3, 2021. (screen grab)
VIDEO: Footage catches pick-up driver smash fence on Abbotsford/Langley border

Driver came forward after video circulated on social media

Most Read