NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: People do yoga in Times Square as part of the International Day of Yoga celebration on the Summer Solstice June 21, 2015 in New York City. One hundred and ninety-two countries joined in for a mass yoga session to mark the United Nations declared, International Yoga Day. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Photo: Kena Betancur
Photo: Kena Betancur

Rand Paul critical of free yoga for government employees

Federal agencies are offering taxpayer-financed yoga sessions and other subsidies for fitness classes. 

One teacher of those classes says the practice can build better camaraderie, productivity and increase workplace attendance. 

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"They are in less pain physically and mentally. They are able to go on and do a better job that's less reactive and more responsive,” said Michael Hall, a yoga instructor. 

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said it’s an example of government waste. 

"That is certainly not a good use of tax dollars. It’s not a lot of money but everything adds up,” said Paul. 

He put out a new report saying since 2013 the federal government spent $150,000 to provide free yoga classes to its employees. 

“You come out better than when you went in and that makes you better for the world,” said Hall. 

FOX23’s DC Bureau reached out to the agencies called out in the waste report but spokespeople cited the health benefits and adding it's a small portion of the overall budget. 

The report found the Department of Veterans Affairs spends the most money on yoga services. Followed by the Defense Department, many of those classes are for rehabilitation for wounded troops, so it was excluded from Paul's report. 

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