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Balancing the business and spiritual sides of yoga has always been a delicate one. An article in Business Week broaches the scramble for yoga teachers to trademark their yoga styles, citing that “out of the 2,213 trademark applications containing the word yoga, more than 2,000 have been filed since 2001.”
The original yogi to trademark his style is Bikram Choudhury, who got a lot of slack at the time for his desire to “own” his series of poses. But now, the trend has caught on. From BROga® to Hillbilly Yoga®, many teachers are choosing to go the Bikram route.
Hanel then broaches the underlying message: that yoga is going mainstream.
As the Eastern mystic practice has spread from hippies to soccer moms to Metallica fans (yes, there’s Metal Yoga™), aspiring gurus are seeing an opportunity in the $6 billion U.S. yoga market. “Yoga today is where the Food Network was 15 years ago,” says Ava Taylor, whose Brooklyn-based Yama Talent manages the careers of 41 ambitious yogis. “Many of these teachers will cross over into the mass market.”
We want to know: What do you think of trademarking yoga styles?