Can Yoga Be Owned?
  • Petitioned Those who believe in the power of shared knowledge

This petition was delivered to:

Those who believe in the power of shared knowledge

Can Yoga Be Owned?

    1. Yoga Truth
    2. Petition by

      Yoga Truth

Yoga To The People was founded for the sole purpose of providing affordable and accessible yoga to as many people as possible. Because we have extended this mission to the hot practice, we now find ourselves in a legal battle with Bikram Choudhury. What is at stake here is more than just our studio. The stance Bikram has taken says that yoga can be owned by individuals and those individuals can exploit this sacred knowledge for their own profit. If you believe that this practice belongs to everybody please take a moment of your time to sign this petition.

 

Can yoga be owned?  We and many others, including the government of India, consider yoga and its asanas to be Sacred and Traditional Knowledge. The moment anyone wishes to “own” a yoga sequence, we have to pause and look very deeply at the far reaching ramifications this claim has for all yoga and all people, everywhere.

This is not about being against one man; this petition asks you what you are for.  It’s about whether yoga asanas and the sequencing of asanas that are part of Traditional Knowledge will remain in the public domain for everyone to use, for everyone to teach, and for everyone to practice.

What does the world look like if yoga is owned?  Less yoga for less people?  Less awareness, more confined consciousness?  How does this privatization of yoga affect the students who have found a potentially life-saving and life-affirming practice through yoga?  What happens to the communities all yoga studios serve?  Instead of practicing sacred knowledge, yoga becomes property—a business not a community.  Something bought and sold rather than something shared.  A market rather than a union… 

For more information visit www.yogatruth.org

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 8,000 signatures
    2. Copyright Office makes it official: Yoga belongs to ALL people!!!

      Yoga Truth
      Petition Organizer

      Click the link to read a letter from Greg, our filed answer to the lawsuit, and for the Copyright Office's official position on yoga and copyright.

    3. Reached 7,000 signatures
    4. The future of Yoga to the People is not the only thing at stake here

      Yoga Truth
      Petition Organizer

      Yoga To The People was founded for the sole purpose of providing affordable and accessible yoga to as many people as possible. Because we have extended this mission to the hot practice, we now find ourselves in a legal battle with Bikram Choudhury. What is at stake here is more than just our studio. The stance Bikram has taken says that yoga can be owned by individuals and those individuals can exploit this sacred knowledge for their own profit. If you believe that this practice belongs to everybody please take a moment of your time to sign this petition.

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. We want to say THANK YOU!

      Yoga Truth
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to those of you who have signed our petition! Please spread the word, share the petition link, enroll your community, and help us share this message of ALL yoga for ALL people!

    7. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Pedro Martins DEN HAAG, NETHERLANDS
      • almost 2 years ago

      For me Yoga is evolutionary in the sense that its postures evolve - have evolved - and actually need adaption to everyone. No one can do the exact same posture as no one holds the exact same body.

      In the same way Yoga postures have not been invented: they have evolved.

      Therefore: no one should own Yoga postures. Like no one should own Karaté postures. Or walking postures. It is plain ridiculous.

      On the other hand: one is entitled to the use of a trade name (like Bikram Yoga).

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    • emily brush SANTA CRUZ, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

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    • Eric Nurmi DULUTH, MN
      • about 2 years ago

      The Asanas bikram claims to own were around thousands of years before bikram was even born. They are not his even though a judge carelessly granted him a copyright to them. His copyright should be revoked all together, and yoga should be put in the public domain where it belongs.

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    • Yoga Teacher LOS ANGELES, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      Holy cow I had no idea this was going on. Thank you so much to Yoga Truth for helping to raise more awareness about this. Trying to own yoga is like trying to trademark "love" or "breathing" While I can understand wanting to respect a lineage of practice, to try to own a set of yoga poses is sad. I have done Bikram yoga and do enjoy it. But this is really too much. Go Yoga To The People!

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    • sondi wright DENVER, CO
      • about 2 years ago

      of course you cannot "own" poses..but here's the thing - some of the Bikram poses are Really Bad ( i taught it yrs ago ) so why copy it all? just a bad idea sondi

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