Hindus, yoga teachers question Missouri sales tax

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Some Hindus and yoga instructors say yoga has religious or spiritual aspects and shouldn't be subject to a Missouri sales tax that applies to recreation.

A Hindu chaplain from Nevada, Rajan Zed, said Wednesday that yoga is one of six systems in Hindu philosophy. He says regulating the practice of physical poses and meditation could be considered religious infringement.

The Missouri Department of Revenue sent letters to 140 yoga and Pilates centers on Oct. 13, telling them they must collect sales tax on fees for their classes. Despite media reports to the contrary, Department of Revenue spokesman Ted Farnen said some other states collect similar sales tax.

The department will consider religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis.