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A Somerset church has banned toddlers from practising yoga in its hall because the "unchristian" practice "promoted other spiritualities", the BBC reports.

Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton got a nasty shock when she applied to rent Taunton's Silver Street Baptist Church hall for her Yum Yum Yoga classes. She explained: "I thought the church hall would be ideal and I told them I wanted to use it for a children's activity. But when I came to book it I told the woman from the church office it was for baby yoga, and she went all strange.

"I got a letter from the minister a few days later saying I couldn't have the hall, with no reasons given. I rang the church office and the woman said it was because yoga was related to a spirituality, unrelated to Christian spirituality, which is ridiculous."

Woodcock added: "We're talking about kids pretending to be animals and doing exercise routines to rhymes - there is nothing that could damage their minds."

Minister Revd Simon Farrar confirmed toddler groups did avail themselves of the church hall, but said "they had to meet certain criteria". He elaborated: "We're a Christian organisation and when we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos." ®

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