Yoga poses can’t be copyrighted, U.S. regulator says

yoga The U.S. Copyright Office previously permitted yoga poses and their sequences to be registered, even if those exercises were in the public domain, Laura Lee Fischer, acting chief of the office’s Performing Arts Division, said in response to an inquiry by an attorney involved in lawsuits the founder of Bikram Yoga filed against three yoga studios.

Lawsuit Pits Bikram Choudhury and Yoga to the People

Bikram Choudhury Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire founder of Bikram Yoga, believes his kind of yoga belongs to him — he has even copyrighted it.

Now, he has sued Yoga to the People for copyright infringement, seeking monetary damages and asking a federal judge to block Yoga to the People from offering its hot yoga class.

Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul

Yoga A group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of Yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.

The Yoga Mogul: John Friend, founder of Anusara

Yoga John Friend talked about the freedom of Anusara; it’s nothing like the more rigid schools that demand students repeat the same poses in the same way at every single class, nor is it the kind of practice in which teachers withhold praise, lest students become too egocentric. “Anusara is positive,” Friend said, resting his head on the back of his chair and absently caressing one of many highly polished orbs on an adjacent table. “It’s accessible. Easily applicable. And yet it has depth and sophistication.”

Consider those religions that focus on sin and damnation, on discipline instead of joy. “Fundamentally they say no,” he told me. “While Anusara is a yes.”

Hindus, yoga teachers question US sales tax

Yoga Yoga practitioners are criticizing a Missouri sales tax that applies to yoga classes, claiming they should be exempt because the lessons include spiritual elements.

Some practitioners think such a tax is unconstitutional. They argue that yoga, with roots in ancient Indian meditation, is as much a spiritual practice as an exercise routine and should be exempt from taxation.

Bikram Yoga’s New Twists

Bikram Choudhury Bikram Choudhury’s sweaty techniques are a hit with yoga studios. Now he wants his cut, writes Forbes.

Yoga is big business, racking up $5.7 billion in sales last year, and Choudhury has built a cultlike following.

Recent training costs: $10,500 per session, including $3,000 for room and board in Palm Desert, Calif. At two sessions a year, each of which draw about 325 trainees, that’s $4.9 million in annual revenue. To that add 15 speaking engagements, generating about $20,000 each in ticket sales, plus another few bucks from books and dvds. “I’m a yogi, not a businessman,” Choudhury demurs.

Now he wants another revenue stream: franchising fees paid by studios that use his name.

Yoga encourages blasphemy, say Muslims

Yoga A top Islamic council in mostly Muslim Malaysia has told Muslims to avoid yoga because it uses Hindu prayers and encourages a union with God that is blasphemous.

The latest edict from the National Fatwa Council reflects a growing swing towards a conservative brand of Islam in the multi-ethnic country that has prompted worries among non-Muslims.

Regular yoga benefits heart health, research finds

Yoga induces a feeling of well-being in healthy people, and can reverse the clinical and biochemical changes associated with metabolic syndrome, according to results of studies from Sweden and India.

Yoga is a tough sell at some churches

Many Christians are wary of its spirituality despite assurances that it’s just exercise.

Vicars ban ‘un-Christian’ yoga for toddlers

A children’s exercise class has been banned from two church halls because it is teaching yoga. The group has been turned away by vicars who described yoga as a sham and un-Christian.

Romancing riles yoga classes

A popular online video starring a lech named Ogden has the yoga community chuckling in recognition and talking about the problem of men who come to studios in search of phone numbers rather than enlightenment.

US denies granting yoga patents

The US statement follows Indian health ministry officials saying last week that New Delhi was scrutinising yoga-related patents and trademarks granted by the United States to have them invalidated.

American attempt to patent yoga puts Indians in a twist

For millions around the world yoga is a source of relaxation and spiritual sustenance. Not so for the Indian Government, which has worked itself into a furious twist over efforts by American entrepreneurs – including an Indian-born celebrity “yogi” – to patent the ancient practice.

Yoga helps women with breast cancer

Women with breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast may benefit from participating in a tailored yoga programme that includes gentle yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, new research suggests.

Yoga going to the dogs

By the end of a recent yoga class, many participants were passed out on their mats, in a position their instructor calls the “upward facing belly pose.” That’s largely because about half the group was about to walk out on four legs: The Seattle/King County Humane Society in Washington now offers 40 minute classes of “doggie yoga.”

Stripped of spiritualism, yoga stretches into public schools

In an effort to introduce yoga to shool children, Tara Guber has eliminated the chanting and translated Sanskrit words into kid-friendly English.

British Columbia school yoga classes slammed

A school program to fight childhood obesity that includes yoga is drawing complaints from some Christian parents in the Quesnel area in B.C.’s Cariboo region.

Yoga not religion, so easily accepted

The inherent flexibility of the ancient health system of Yoga, combined with the fact that it has got nothing religious about it makes it readily acceptable across the world, experts contend.

Catholic yoga: A Hail Mary with your Halasana

In 1996, when Richard Galentino walked into a Georgetown University gymnasium for his first yoga class, he was not sure what to expect. For Galentino, raised in a traditional Italian Catholic home and educated in church-affiliated schools, this breathing-and-exercise discipline long identified with Hinduism was entirely new.
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