Bikram Yoga: Doing Yoga the McDonald’s Way?


Code : BSM0013

Year :

Industry : Health Care

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Available

Structured Assignment :Available

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Introduction:"I grieve over the wholly false impressions which the people have conceived...they are sure of their salvation; again, that so soon as they cast their contributions into the moneybox, souls fly out of purgatory," reproved Martin Luther in the early 16th century, over the commercialization of spirituality in Europe.Yet in the 21st century,America has been observed as "the world's first free market for spirituality". With an increasing number of people taking to yoga in the US, several styles of Yoga have come up, making it a multi-million dollar business.

‘BikramYoga’is one such style popularized by its founder BikramChoudhury (Bikram) who hails from India. He made so much money out of his brand that his flamboyant lifestyle prompted people to call him the 'bad boy of Yoga'. Having instructed 'bikram Yoga’ for three decades, Bikram planned to 'protect his Intellectual Property', and license and franchise his brand around the world. This caused disquiet among yoga instructors, and raised concerns if yoga, a traditional knowledge available in the public domain for ages, could be 'protected' as a brand; if protection of Intellectual Property (IP) enhanced commodification; and if the commercialization of yoga was distorting its very essence.

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