The Indian government tries to stop people to patent ancient yoga practices. So officials are filming hundreds of yoga poses and translating ancient Sanscrit texts. Next month they plan to send the results to patent offices around the world. It’s an outgrowth of a project called the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, which was originally created to fight patents on traditional Indian medicine — like turmeric for wound healing, which received a U.S. patent that was later withdrawn after India objected.
“Yoga is collective knowledge and is available for use by everybody no matter what the interpretation,” said V.K. Gupta, head of the digital library, which was set up by the ministries of health and science. “It would be very inappropriate if some companies try to prevent others from any yoga practice, even if they call it some other name. So we wanted to ensure that, in the future, nobody will be able to claim that he has created a yoga posture which was actually already created in 2500 B.C. in India.”
“This collection is very successful in preventing wrong patent information, but it is available in 34 million pages,” Gupta said with a chuckle. “We are trying to shorten the yoga catalog to make it very easy for the world to understand.”
Yoga wars, as they are known, started in 2004 in Beverly Hills when Calcutta-born yoga master Bikram Choudhury claimed as his intellectual property a sequence of 26 postures that his students performed in a room heated to 105 degrees. He attempted to collect money from smaller studios offering “Hot Yoga” classes.
We already dedicated several articles to the Yoga potent related wars. Two articles were dedicated to Bikram Choudhury and the case when he patented in his honor his own yoga style- Bikram’s Yoga, that he copyrighted and franchised.