India moves to protect its yoga traditions
(New Delhi, Sep 13, 2005) - The Indian health ministry is documenting
1,500 yoga asanas (postures) in an effort to counter instructors
abroad from claiming patents on the ancient art, a news report said
The documentation will be part of the ministry's Digital Traditional
Knowledge Library along with formulas in traditional medicine, the
Times of India reported.
Yoga is an ancient system of exercise, practised in Hinduism, aimed
at attaining physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
The library will have information in five languages - English,
Spanish, French, Japanese and German, a government official said.
"The library will protect India's traditional knowledge base," said
Ambumani Ramadoss, Indian health minister.
"Countries which sign an agreement with India will have access to the
database. This will prevent Indians living abroad from claiming
patents for existing formulations," added an official.
He said the health ministry had received reports of self-proclaimed
yoga teachers in the West trying to patent traditional yoga asanas
and ayurvedic medicinal formulations.
"They try to name the asana after themselves by getting a patent. We
will stop this," said the official.
According to figures with the Indian health ministry, yoga is a multi-
billion-dollar market in the West.
More than 15 well-known yoga schools in India are helping the
government with its documentation project. - Sapa-dpa
Published on the Web by IOL on 2005-09-13 09:42:38
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