BROga® is real! We know because it’s been US Trademarked. So has Hillbilly Yoga®, Cougar Yoga™ and Metal Yoga™, along with the 2,213 other applications with the word “yoga” filed in the government’s Trademark Electronic Search System – 2,000 of which have been steadily pouring in since 2001. That’s a lot of yogapreneurs!
Does trademarking a name brand yoga style mean you invented it? Does it mean you’re out to be a megayogamillionaire?
If you read one article on yoga branding, trademarking and asana-jacking we recommend this succinctly informative piece from Business Week examining the ins and outs of yogapreneurship, and it’s not only because we simply adore their description of Bikram as the “man-thonged” Emeril of yoga. (Frankly, we’ll go ahead and say he’s rivaling Charlie Sheen now for outrageous quote master).
On the yoga as a business front, there’s still the argument that yoga teachers deserve to live a sustainable life – everybody wants to make a living! Can we do that without selling out? Some say it’s par for the course.
“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.”
As some of you are aware, YAMA is a unique agency that assists teachers in booking paying gigs, tours, and doing just that, crossing over into the mass market. Many of the stars YAMA represents have purchased a first class ticket on the express train to brandnameyogaville.
And who else do we all recognize as the rebel rover crossover queen? Naturally, the article mentions Tara Stiles and her mass appeal approach, oh and her plans to open a line of studios in strip malls? Eep. Or is that yay? Crap, we are so confused at this point.
And then we’ve got team India still set on preserving their legacy with the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library preparing to launch the 1,000-pose-strong yoga portion online in this spring. While physical poses themselves are open to fair use, the campaign is to prevent “yoga theft” and western capitalistic pirates from patenting Arrrrrdha Chandrasana as their own.
Still we don’t expect Yoga, Inc. to take a savasana any time soon. And thank holy Krishna, because that would crush our dreams of Mother Monster Gagurasana – a sequence of hot toddies and sweaty yoga in your birthday “born this way” suit.
(full disclosure: YD has its own fancy ™, somewhere around here)