The MAGA-yoga connection apparently exists, and a hot yoga studio could be in hot water for “mask free” classes flouting health restrictions.
One of the curious corollaries of COVID-19 has been the New Age/hippie/spiritual community’s passionate embrace of coronavirus denialism and QAnon, eloquently described in the rare actually-good Medium post The Red Pill Overlap: Why New Age Yogis Have Swallowed QAnon Conspiracies. Or if you would prefer a stupider display of this kind of behavior, we turn your attention to today’s Hoodline report that a Pacifica yoga studio is advertising mask-free classes.
These promotions have predictably caused such tremendous social media backlash that Yelp has put the old Unusual Activity Alert on the studio’s page.
We don’t know for sure that these “mask free” yoga classes have been taking place, but we do know that the studio has been advertising them. The above Instagram post is from two weeks ago. But just yesterday, the studio posted four sessions happening today, with the message “‘Come Feel the Heat’ #maskfree #fearfree #virusfree #cowardfree #infernohotpilates #bikramyoga #powervinyasa #hotyoga #trump2020.”
Update: KRON4 confirmed with the studio owner, Thomas Antoon, by phone that yes, indeed, Pacifica Beach Yoga's classes are all mask-free.
The whole thing officially turned into a brouhaha on Wednesday, when a Yelp commenter called out the studio management for “holding inside hot yoga classes and are against wearing masks. The owner is 100% on the ‘covid is a scam’ train.”
A Yelp response labeled as being from the Business Owner replied, “Does it make you feel good to post this. Why so angry. Because your [sic] jealous. Do you know that I never closed ever we’ve been having classes the whole time saving lives not one case of the virus while stupid fools like you cower at home with your mask on ha ha ha ha ha ha keep posting my stuff. Help me spread the word loser.”
Indeed, the studio’s Facebook photos are… not the photos you’d normally expect of a yoga studio.
Hoodline notes that “The offices of the San Mateo County Health Department were closed Monday due to the Columbus Day holiday, so Hoodline could not confirm if any complaints had been filed in official channels about the studio. As of now, San Mateo County is allowing gyms and fitness studios to open at 10-percent capacity with masks worn at all times.” The site’s reporting also found that owner Tommy Antoon was among those who filed lawsuits against Gavin Newsom for shelter-in-place business orders.
Image: Tommy A. via Yelp