Yoga piracy is the practice whereby those who profit from yoga claim copyrights on specific yoga postures and practices. These are usually ancient Indian practices, which have been adopted using information which is within the public domain, or is traditionally passed down as yogic knowledge.
Typically, accusations of yoga piracy are made against Western fitness-focused individuals or organizations who claim copyright on certain yogic practices in their home countries. This can prove a financially lucrative practice, given the value of the yoga fitness industry internationally.
The Indian government has responded to yoga piracy by taking steps to document 1,500 yoga asanas as traditional knowledge of India, so that individuals cannot claim to have created “new” yoga postures.