Modi hits out at commercialisation of yoga, welcomes scientific research


By Arul Louis
United Nations, June 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hit out at commercialisation of yoga, pointing out that it is free of copyrights and patents.

“Yoga is free from copyrights, free from patents and free from royalty payments,” Modi said at the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UN headquarters here.

In the US in particular, as well as elsewhere, yoga teachers and organisations claim copyrights and royalties and, sometimes, approach the courts.

For example, Indian-American yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury had sued an organisation that he claimed had violated his copyright on yoga practices. But the US federal courts threw out his case.

Meanwhile, Modi also welcomed the medical and scientific research on yoga.

“I’m delighted that many of you are working on scientifically validating the different aspects of yoga. Indeed, this is the way,” he said while addressing a gathering of about 1,800 people.

“Yoga comes from India and it has a very old tradition. But like all ancient Indian traditions, it is also living, dynamic,” Modi said.

“Yoga is a way of life, a holistic approach to health and well-being, a way to mindfulness in thought and action, a way to live in harmony with self, with others and with nature,” he said.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at and followed at @arulouis)


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