Recently a good yogini friend of mine, sent me a link to an article about the possible ownership of yoga. India has set up a huge team of people to identify and register all yoga asanas to stop folks from stealing their traditional knowledge. Whoa. So far they’ve traced around 130 patents on postures, yoga tools or trademarks linked to the U.S.
I have apparently been mislead. Though yoga may’ve been born in India, does that mean that they own it? I have been under the impression that yoga does not belong to anyone. I see perhaps they are upset that some people here in the U.S. are making scads of cash from sharing yoga. Just for the record most of us yoga teachers aren’t doing this for big bucks. In fact, if this were the only income I had I would not be able to make it. Period. And I teach quite a bit!
Apparently this move is meant to possibly put a halt on those that are perhaps franchising or patenting a particular style of yoga as their own. Though Bikram is the only one with a franchise that I’m aware of, these yoga styles, Pure Yoga, Purna Yoga, Para Yoga seem to just have a copyright on their business name. But does that mean they have a patent on their style as well?
What about the Yoga Slackers?
I guess what I’m really wondering is what could happen to yoga, in general here in the U.S.?
What could this mean for me, as a yoga instructor?
What could this mean for other local teachers here in Missouri and elsewhere?