Meredith Hoffman, “Off the Mat, Into Court: Lawsuit Pits Bikram and Yoga to the People” New York Times, 12/1/2011 (

This article is about two studios (Bikram Yoga NYC and Yoga to the People) in New York that offer Bikram Yoga (series of yoga poses done in a heated room); the founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury, is suing the studio “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.”  The owner of Yoga to the People, Greg Gumucio, began as Choudhury’s student & decided he wanted to start his own studio that was less expensive for students; therefore, the competition between the two studios has led to this lawsuit.

When I first looked at this article I was quite surprised because I had never heard of a lawsuit between two yoga studios.  The tone of the article is pretty neutral towards both of the studios at the beginning of the article; however at the end of the article there are direct quotations from students of both studios that are against the lawsuit.  I also don’t think that it is right for studios to argue over which yoga moves they can and cannot do or own.  If everyone in yoga copyrighted their own yoga poses then nobody today would be able to enjoy yoga to its full extent.  The author does not relate yoga, in any sense, back to it religious origins, but it is interesting that the last line in the article states: “There is a line in the Hindu scriptures: ‘Let good knowledge come to us from all sides,’ ” Mr. Mehta wrote. “There is no follow-up that adds, ‘And let us pay royalties for it.’ ”