In order to protect traditional Indian yoga techniques from being patented in the West, the Indian government has decided to shortlist over 1,500 asanas or poses, creating a digital video database in an effort to thwart copyright attempts in a global multi-billion dollar industry.
Classifying the yoga positions, known as asanas, as part of the “traditional knowledge” of the country, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, has begun the tedious work of videotaping Indian yoga expertise. So far, it has uploaded recordings of 250 asanas into a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) database.
“Our experts have identified over 1,500 yoga techniques from the literature available from our ancient texts and what is available now,” said Archana Sharma, head of TKDL, as cited by The Indian Express. The government hopes to document the rest of asanas over the next couple of months.