With yoga having become the big business that it has, I guess it should come as no surprise that the nation that brung it should take steps to preserve at least a little of the ancient art’s integrity.
According to the Times of India, India has made available a list of 1,300 newly registered yoga poses, compiled to prevent the ancient postures from being exploited for commercial purposes by patent pirates.
Scouring 16 ancient texts, including the Patanjali Yoga Sutra and Bhagwat Gita, scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR) have compiled a database of asanas consisting of video and text records in order to protect them from being patented elsewhere. Already in the United States, the patent authorities have issued more than 130 yoga-related patents, 150 copyrights and 2,300 trademarks related to the ancient practice.
These asanas will all be included in the digitalised Traditional Knowledge Library (TKDL), set up by the council to collect and record traditional treatment therapy knowledge. Medicines and yoga asanas registered with it enjoy the status of being patented. ”How can someone else patent these asanas which are a part of our traditional treatment therapy knowledge? They should not be allowed to use them for commercial purposes,” said Dr Gupta, of the TKDL.
In India, the centuries-old tradition is still being taught free in public parks and it comes as an outrage to Indians to see these ancient poses, marketed by “gurus” for commercial purposes, alleviating everything from back pain to stress to sexual dysfunction.
30-40 of the most popular asanas will remain in the public domain but poses from another 20 ancient texts will be added to the protected database.