No copyright protection for yoga

A United States court of appeals recently declared that yoga poses are not entitled to copyright protection. The Indian yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury had previously accused the founders of the yoga studio Evolution Yoga of copying his yoga method consisting of 26 positions that must be performed in a specified order in a room heated to about 40 degrees Celsius.

The court held that the method, described by Bikram Choudhury in 1979 was not a proper subject of copyright protection because it was an idea, process, or system designed to improve health, rather than an expression of an idea. And because the method was an unprotectable idea, it was also ineligible for copyright protection as a compilation or choreographic work.