Some Austin businesses are now requiring proof of vaccination

They say yoga is about balance, and according to studio owner Alia Khan, also taking care of one another.

"Ahimsa is the Sanskrit word for it, it means non-harming and it's not only about how important it is to take care of yourself but also take care of your community," said Khan.

She said that is exactly what she was trying to do when she came up with her new COVID-19 policy, as she plans to reopen in-person classes on Monday.

"We are requiring that people provide us with proof of vaccination in order to practice in our space with us," said Khan.

The proof has to show a fully-vaccinated status. This could be proven by showing a picture of the card on the phone, or emailing a photo. Khan said it's the best way she feels she can keep her staff and clients safe. The virtual class option is still available. 

Khan said she has gotten some backlash, but overwhelming support. "I’ve had a number of clients saying there were on the fence about whether they were going to come back but now that I’ve announced this policy they are absolutely coming," she said.

Oak and Lotus is not alone here. Popular Austin restaurant Fresa's has also taken their stance, requiring at least one shot before dining inside.

Fresa’s said you can eat on the outside patio if you don't have vaccine proof. Masks will continue to be required indoors. The same goes for the Launderette restaurant, which is under the same ownership. Not all are happy, with some saying Fresa’s has lost their business.

"As a business the challenge is balancing public safety concerns with what are people actually going to do," said Khan.

Even with some objections, Khan feels she is doing the right thing. "In general I respect everybody's right to believe and do what they want. I do think when it reaches a point when your personal decisions are affecting other people, it's not just about you anymore," said Khan.

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