`No one has any business to patent yoga’, says spiritual leader

November 14th, 2007 - 2:00 am ICT by admin  
Gurgaon (Haryana), Oct.10 (ANI): Mystic master and spiritual guru Anandmurti Gurumaa on Wednesday described the practice of yoga as an ancient all-encompassing discipline to be enjoyed by people from various walks of life, and said no person or country had any business to patent it.

Interacting with select media persons here ahead of a five-day-long camp on ways to promote the management of stress on a day-to-day basis, Gurumaa, who originally hails from Amritsar, and now functions from hermitages in Rishikesh and Sonepat, criticised moves in the United States to patent yoga.

“Knowledge is not anyone’s property or right. Everyone has a right to it. Yoga is a discipline that has been handed down through the ages, through time, and it has taken generations of people to understand it, propagate it and derive individual benefit from it,” she said.

She apparently was reacting to Bikram Yoga founder and US-based Bikram Choudhary’s move in May this year to get a copyright for his method of teaching yoga, which has shocked yoga enthusiasts and experts in India.

There is a unanimous feeling in India that the idea of patenting knowledge like yoga is absurd and violates the ancient Indian art.

Anandmurti Gurumaa is the latest to join a bandwagon of critics against this move to patent yoga, even as the U.S. Patent Office has officially issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 trademarks on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks.

Popular yoga guru Swami Ramdev said in Shimla recently that the Indian Government should intervene strongly to prevent Choudhary from going ahead with his plans.

“Yoga can’t be owned and run like a company. Since there are attempts to patent this tradition (of yoga) in America, the Centre and yoga organisations should take measures to prevent it,” Ramdev said.

Elaborating on her stress management discourse between October 10 and 14, Gurumaa described stress as largely being the “illness of the literate”, adding that more people die of it than of heart disease.

She also said that a majority of the people lacked awareness about what caused stress and how the onset of stress affected the endocrinal, muscular and glandular system in humans.

Stress, she said, is also a contributing factor in human diseases, especially depression, cardiovascular diseases and HIV/AIDS.

According to some other authors, the strongest evidence that stress contributes to disease comes from research on depression.

The biggest culprits in depression are “social stressors, which could prevail at home, in the work-place or, even due to a divorce and the death of a loved one.

There are two likely pathways that lead to stress. One is behavioural — people under stress sleep poorly and are less likely to exercise; they adopt poor eating habits, smoke more and don’t comply with medical treatment.

Stress also triggers a response by the body’s endocrine systems, which release hormones that influence multiple other biological systems, including the immune system.

“Effects of stress on regulation of immune and inflammatory processes have the potential to influence depression, infectious, autoimmune, and coronary artery disease, and at least some (e.g., viral) cancers,” some experts have opined.

While accepting that “Prayanam” was one way to reduce stress, the other way was through the application of ‘Yoga Nidra”, she said.

Describing it as a “power tool” available to each and every individual who wanted a happy, tranquil and healthy life, Gurumaa said that all it required was for a person to remain in a reclining position for 30-minutes and to follow its application step-by-step.

Stating that humans were only using their minds to the extent of six percent, the spiritual guru said that the Yoga Nidra process is an “effortless effort” to change the way we think and act. It involved a three-step process of moving from the consciousness to the unconsciousness, and to being between the two.

Yoga Nidra, she said, is a process that was quicker than other systems in facilitating external bliss, adding that it is the most powerful method for the reshaping of one’s personality. (ANI)

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