Might find him disagreeable but I'm leaning towards his corner on the case that's going on at the moment and I really, I mean REALLY hate to side with big business against the little guy. I'm English, genetically designed to root for the underdog, except....
Come on, it's not about patenting yoga, it's absurd to suggest it is, disingenuous even, seems to be more about claiming intellectual property rights or copyright on a clearly defined series of asana in a very hot room.
I don't have sympathy for the fella who's teaching the same sequence in the same hot room but calling it something else so he doesn't have to pay anything back to Bikram himself and thus able to undercut the local Bikram studio and the teachers who are respecting their teacher.
Can't see how Bikram can make the case stick, what if you lower the temperature in the room a couple of degrees or change one of the asana. Still, teaching the same thing and calling it something else, if not actually asteya, doesn't strike me as right livelihood.
Teach something else, surely there are enough asana and myriad combinations to choose from.
but perhaps I'm missing something.
Is Yoga religion
|Picture from HERE|
So don't simplify it.
Supposedly it wasn't (theistic) back in it's early Samkhya days and then it was after the rewriting of the Gita when it became all about devotion. Then it wasn't again when it came West, all nice and scientific.
In the Ashtanga context Krishnamacharya and Jois were deeply religious men and that comes through in the practice, concepts of surrender, devotion, the language of the Gita coming through, of Śaṅkarācārya and Advaita.
My teacher, Ramaswami seemed to be suggesting that you could take the Ishvara line in Patanjali or leave it, that it was there for those who were religious, but that it wash't essential to Patanjali's method.
However, It's one thing to say you can practice you own religion or not be religious and do yoga, or at least asana but there's still the language, the underlying concepts on which that practice rests and is taught.
You may have come across a couple of posts here were I've questioned the concept of surrender or devotion, some feel very strongly that those are exactly what yoga IS about, that practicing asana without devotion, without surrendering yourself suggests your just practising gymnastics ( what does everyone have against gymnastics btw).
It's complicated, .......no? And that's without the philosophical hair splitting ( my old trade) on what does and doesn't constitute a religion but we know what we're talking about right.
My feeling is, Yoga is what you bring to it but that's a cop out, putting the whole question under erasure while I jump about on rubber mats and try and focus on the breath and gain some clarity of mind (something to be fair Kiki also mentions).
Of course I'm just simplifying it further.