Wow. I was amazed by the swift and overwhelming response from the yoga community to the decision by Yogaglo to seek a Yogaglo patent for their (less than unique, as described by several of their own student’s) camera angle. As someone who has straddled the yoga/business gap for the last ten years, I can relate to wanting to protect one’s business interests and even to the nervousness that can creep in when new competitors begin to emerge. But I also know how dangerous it is to give in to that fear.
Having started in the yoga world as an instructor and transitioned to the business side later on, I’ve often been in the position of defending the needs of a business to my yoga friends and colleagues. I believe passionately that good business can be the platform to support the expansion of yoga and that has always been a key barometer for me when trying to make business decisions. Does this potential action mean more yoga students and teachers are going to have access to better yoga? Or is it going to have the opposite effect?
As I read through the long stream of comments spawned by YogaGlo’s action, I was left thinking that whether it’s trying to own 26 poses (like Bikram did) or a particular kind of online yoga experience, patenting yoga in any form and attempting to use ownership to shut down other yoga sources feels to me like the latter. And other yoga practitioners seem to be having a fairly uniform reaction to any one entity trying to say that this 5,000 year old gift belongs to them.
Julie Wood – General Manager, MyYogaWorks