BEEF! Uh oh. Bikram may have his legal team under lockdown once again. The offender? Yoga to the People, the often mat-to-mat packed and sweaty yoga studio touting “no glorified teachers, scripts or pedestals” with multiple locations around NYC, as well as West Coast.
And they wrote it in a letter, to the people. Apparently the beef came to fruition last week when Bikram Manhattan closed its doors at the Penn Station location, pretty much blaming YTTP for stealing their clientele. Founder and director Raffael Pacitti spoke out on their website:
“Over the past few years, the presence of our competitors, YTTP’s Greg Gumucio, who offers Bikram Yoga classes under the guise of “hot” or “traditional” yoga without certified Bikram teachers, has made it impossible to continue,” Pacitti wrote.
It’s true, there are similarities: 26 postures, heat, stinky yogis (heh). But Bikram Manhattan charges $20 while YTTP is a mere $8.
Though according to Pacitti, it’s about honor and honesty:
“Mr. Gumucio and his team have taken it upon themselves to violate this honorable and ancient system in the interest of commerce and in making money,” said Pacitti in his note.
Gumucio shoots back, telling the Daily News that Pacitti is whining and playing the blame game.
“We do offer the same kind of yoga at a much cheaper rate, and we’re obviously doing a really good job,” he said. “It makes it very convenient to him to blame us.”
“In New York, you’re paying $20 to 25 a class,” Gumucio said. “To me, that was just very cost prohibitive. Our commitment was to give the less financially able an opportunity to practice.”
Which they have, but will this lead to more yoga lawsuits and ownership claims? Will YTTP try for a bid in the Olympics too??* We’ll have to wait and see! Fire up the yoga torch!
*kidding, sort of.
Yoga to the People Manifesto