Inner west yoga studio and wholefoods cafe Egg of The Universe has come under fire after comparing vaccine mandates to “segregation.”

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Egg of the Universe detailed that its Rozelle and Eveleigh studios will not open until December 1st — the day NSW opens up for all citizens, regardless of vaccination status.

“Segregation of this community, of any kind, for any amount of time, therefore, does not align with who and what we are,” the post read.

The studio has faced backlash for comparing the choice to not be vaccinated with segregation. “I have a problem with trying to draw discrimination /segregation parallels when this is not a human rights issue,” wrote journalist Antoinette Lattouf. “It’s a privileged brat and public health issue.”

Over the past two years of the pandemic, a ubiquitous surge in COVID misinformation and QAnon conspiracies has spread amongst the wellness industry.

Love Health & Wellness?

Get the latest Health & Wellness news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Traditionally associated with right-wing groups, researchers have found that QAnon conspiracy theories have spread amongst Western New Age “wellness influencers”. Influencers like Stephanie Birch have faced criticism for including QAnon-related movements like #greatawakening with yoga content.

“We are experiencing a spiritual warfare against mastery manipulating puppets that go back years,” she wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.

In an interview with BBCcultural historian Matthew Remski argued that yoga has always been driven by leaders pushing alternatives to western medicine, and wellness influencers are the natural descendants of that tradition.

Remski notes that yoga shares three core beliefs that act in synthesis to any conspiracy theory: “everything is connected, nothing happens without a reason, and nothing is as it appears.”

“If you have trained yourself in these forms of spirituality, you’ve actually trained yourself in conspiratorial thinking as well,” says Remski.