As you may have heard, YogaGlo recently received a patent for one very specific way to create yoga class videos for online streaming. Although we issued a statement containing the facts about this patent a few months ago, many yoga organizations, publications, blogs, teachers and students continue to share false and misleading information about what it all means. The misplaced disdain that has been directed toward us, our teachers, and parts of the yoga community is extremely unfortunate and has created fear within the yoga community.
It has been difficult for us to watch this situation unfold and we have been concerned by how quickly misinformation has spread across the Internet. We think it is important to set the record straight about a few things. We have incredible teachers at YogaGlo who share their life’s work, positively affecting the lives of students all over the world and it would be irresponsible of us to not protect the platform through which they deliver their teachings. We hope that you will take the time to read this post, which is an attempt by us to provide you with an explanation of what we patented and the reasons for doing so.
What Is the Patent Protecting? The patent covers only one of many ways an online yoga-related company or individual teacher might create a class for online streaming. In fact, several elements need to be present in the same video for a class to be in conflict with our patent. Meaning, for the overwhelming majority of you, the patent will be completely irrelevant. Only a handful of companies in some of their classes have copied all of the critical elements in our patent.
The critical elements of the patent include:
a line of sight corridor between the rear area of a class and the instructor in the front of the class;
an image capturing device located in the rear area with an unobstructed view of the instructor, to provide a participatory view through the line of sight corridor;
students in a class, facing the instructor, distributed across the classroom between the instructor position and the image capturing device wherein the students do not block the corridor.
Again, all of these elements mustbe present in the same video for our patent to be relevant.
It would be extremely unlikely that anyone would “accidentally” create a class this way. Many wonderful online yoga-related companies and individual teachers are thriving by offering online yoga classes that are developed in a different way, in their own style. Some people prefer their perspective to ours.
A Visual Representation of the Critical Patent Elements Below are a few visual examples of what our patent protects. Note, there are many other ways companies and teachers can create yoga classes that do not look anything like YogaGlo’s classes:
Though we made a statement on Monday (below) to clarify our approach as it relates to our patent application, we have noted over the past few days that there is much confusion and many misunderstandings.
We have also heard from so many wonderful yogis asking to learn more, to better understand and to get some answers as to what this type of patent application actually means so they can make their own informed decisions as to how they feel about it.
We have heard you. We value you. We respect you.
To clarify many of the comments being made and address your questions:
We have not sued anyone or filed a lawsuit.
We are not trying to patent how classes are taught in studios all over the world.
We are not trying to patent how a teacher might film instruction for their students in their own studio or how one might wish to film a DVD.
Our patent application deals very specifically with online streaming yoga classes, and in that, it deals with only one of many possible ways to film online streaming yoga classes.
So what is the YogaGlo way of filming classes? Our patent application clearly outlines that the “look and feel” of a YogaGlo online streaming class is comprised of the following elements that all must be present in conjunction with one another: position of camera, position of the teacher, position of the mats relative to the camera and the teacher, an open corridor down the middle, the teacher must be facing the camera, the students must be facing the teacher, etc. We are not seeking to patent a camera angle. We are not seeking to patent the placement of a teacher in a room (online, offline, in your private studio, in your public studio). We are seeking to patent this one very particular combination of elements for a single online class.
There is more than one way to film and stream an online yoga class. Many wonderful online yoga businesses film their classes differently and are thriving. Many online yoga customers prefer their look to ours. We aren’t trying to patent how they film their classes. We are simply trying to patent our way of filming online classes.
We hope this helps clarify some of the questions you all have shared with us and helps you understand the landscape we are operating in as well as the intent with which we are seeking such a patent. The vast majority of the yoga businesses that we all engage with have many legal forms of protection in place that you may not be not aware of. Most of these are not regularly shared with the yoga community, so we can understand how disconcerting it can be to think of yoga in this context. But we believe that there is a way to operate with integrity both in the business sphere and in the yoga sphere. They are not mutually exclusive.
We truly believe there is room enough for every yoga company to be innovative and creative and develop incredible online offerings that engage and inspire yogis all over the world. As a yoga business, we have the right to protect a tiny piece of the work that we do and our patent application reflects that.
We understand, however, that every person in the yoga community will have their own perspective and that you may not ultimately agree with our approach. We respect each one of you and know that you will make up your own minds as to where you fall along this spectrum.
Original Statement Published September 25, 2013:
Many of you may already be aware that this was published today.
In response, we want to clarify several points that were misrepresented in this article:
First, we want to make it very clear that YogaGlo has no intention to trademark, copyright or patent yoga itself or how yoga classes are set up and taught. That is not what we believe in and it is not what yoga is about.
We are simply protecting the proprietary filming perspective which makes YogaGlo’s online classes distinct. YogaGlo’s filming perspective was developed to help online users feel like they’re participating in the class from a remote location. People have independently acknowledged and recognized the look and feel of YogaGlo’s videos, including commenting on the unique setup of the classroom. This acknowledgement happened today, in fact, on the very post we link to above. With just a few short descriptors, many commenters immediately identified YogaGlo.
In order to continue to provide our community with this distinctive online yoga class experience at an affordable price, YogaGlo is required to protect its intellectual property, just like any other online business.
Although YogaGlo has already taken steps to protect its online videos, including obtaining both trademark and copyright registrations, we are waiting for our patent to issue. We are hopeful that once our patent registers, we will be able to resolve these matters in a way that protects our intellectual property rights and allows all online yoga services to thrive fairly.
We also want to make it clear that YogaGlo was founded on the principles of promoting more access to yoga, not less, so we support any website that shares this mission.
While we have always valued engaging in meaningful dialogue with our community, we are unfortunately restricted from responding to additional comments on this issue. We hope you can respect our position, now that it has been clarified, and understand that we cannot comment any further on ongoing legal matters.
Our very own Jo Tastula said that “mindfulness is a spacious inclusive awareness of what ever is arising. As everything that is arising is continuously changing, the art of the practice is to stay aware of each passing part without getting stuck in it. A continuous flow is a great way to practice this meditation as movement.”
This week’s featured classes are all about strong, steady, non-stop flows that focus on sustainable, rhythmic breathing. No resting here!
You can use our Search Feature to search through all of our Continuous Flow classes on your own. To get you started without searching, we’re highlighting six continuous flow classes in a variety of styles, levels and durations that will be sure to awaken and strengthen the entire body!
Fun Continuous Flow with Tiffany Cruikshank: This is a fun continuous flow with some good core, leg and hip work throughout. Less talking, more doing so the instruction is minimal with options to make it more like a level 2 or more like a level 2/3. Have fun!
No-Nonsense Continuous Flow with Marc Holzman: You have only 30 minutes and you just need to move? This is a no-nonsense continuous flow that compacts warm-ups, standing poses, a few hip openers and backbends. You’re good to ‘GLO.
Continuous Hamstring Flow with Amy Ippoliti: Less talking, more bending, this practice is designed to get a sweat going with no poses too deep or strenuous. The flow is modified specifically for tight hamstrings using 2 blocks. Peaks at hanumanasana (with blocks of course). A blanket is helpful to place under your knees if needed.
Continuous Flow with Stephanie Snyder: This is a challenging vinyasa flow that covers sun salutes, core strengthening, a strong standing series with twists and balancing poses. Moving into backbends and finishing with forward folds, this is a well rounded and satisfying class for the intermediate/advanced practitioner. Enjoy!
Continuous Flow with Tara Judelle: A continuous flow that includes pincha mayurasana, eka pada rajakapotasana, urdhva dhanurasana, drop backs, parsva bakasana, hanumanasana, and headstand.
Mindful Awareness of Continuous Change with Jo Tastula: Mindfulness is a spacious inclusive awareness of what ever is arising. As everything that is arising is continuously changing, the art of the practice is to stay aware of each passing part without getting stuck in it. A continuous flow is a great way to practice this meditation as movement. There are a lot of deep forward bends which both lengthen the muscles in the back of the body, but also calm the nervous system and mind. Sun salutations (surya namaskara A) which have lots of standing forward bend (uttanasana) also wide legged forward bend (prasarita padottanasana) pyramid pose (parsvottanasana). Balance poses tree (vrksasana) eagle (garudasana) warrior 3 (virabhadrasana). Deep lunge (anjanyasana) dolphin and free time at the end of practice for your own inversions or backbends. Nice guided savasana. Blessings!
Do you ever have such a harried, stressful day that unwinding and getting truly restful sleep is a challenge? You’re not alone! The good news is that severalstudiesshow yoga has transformative powers on our bodies and minds.
This week, we are focusing on all the ways yoga can help us slow down, re-center, and prepare for a night of sleep that is restorative and transformative. Imagine a world in which we’re all sleeping better – that’s a world we’d like to create with you!
You can use our new Search feature to search through all of our Yoga for Insomnia classes on your own. To get you started without searching, we’re highlighting six classes in a variety of styles, levels and durations that are designed to help you make the transition from your busy day to a restful evening:
Self-Care Evening Flow with Elena Brower - Elevating ourselves to a new level of self-care and self-acceptance, this practice activates your heart as much as it challenges your body. We will work through standing poses into a juicy flying crow and some hip openers in order to soften your judgments and re-route your attention back to your heart. Great for evening, since you’ll focus on forward bends and hips rather than backbends to complete your practice, but you’ll love it any time of day.
Connect to the Endless Battery Pack of the Earth with Felicia Tomakso - Do you ever have those days when you feel exhausted, spacey, when your head and/or energy is spinning? This class is the antidote. We focus on calming the airy and spacey vata dosha, the energy of air and ether through a number of soft, supported poses using a bolster and block. Restorative twists are the pose of the day because they help us let go of what has accumulated in the body, allowing us to benefit from connecting to the endless battery pack of the Earth. Through twists with the bolster, child’s pose, and a soft supine hip opening sequence, we end the practice feeling nourished and nurtured. This class can also put you to sleep just watching it, it is that relaxing.
Evening Sleep-Prep Flow with Tiffany Cruikshank - Unwind with a flow that will get you moving right away and then ease off into stillness. We’ll meet the restlessness of the mind with movement and then slowly ease in so the mind settles and prepares for a deep restful sleep.
Goodnight Sweetheart with Christina Sell - This gentle heart and hip opening class will help you unwind from your day and prepare to greet the evening with calm and serenity. Culminating with shoulder stand and simple breathing exercises, this soothing class is a perfect way to end the day.
Here is to a wonderful week of delicious, restorative sleep!
Each week we scour the interwebs to bring you amazing yoga articles, insights and stories that we hope will illuminate the power of yoga, the ways in which it can heal and soothe and the ways in which it can make us laugh, smile and learn much more about ourselves than we ever expected. This week’s links we think you’ll love are all about how practicing yoga can make you successful in your career, in business and at the work place.
10 Things Yoga Teaches Us About Small Business Ownership: Whether it’s a handstand or that next creative idea for your business, sometimes trying too hard to make it happen is exactly what you don’t want to do. Take a step back from the situation. Stop thinking about it. You’ll find the answers you were looking for when you let go.
5 Unexpected Things Yoga Will Teach You: Through yoga we discover a deep inner strength paired with the knowledge that we can accomplish anything, and that power extends to all areas of our lives.
How Meditation Can Give a Huge Boost to your Career: It’s interesting because people are always telling young people that the best thing you can do for your career is go network with people, promote yourself, ask for raises. But the most valuable thing that I have done in my career to date is have a meditation practice.
5 Easy Ways to Start Your Meditation Practice: Making meditation a part of your daily life is super beneficial. As part of your morning ritual, it is very centering, grounding and can really set the tone for your day. Done in the evening, it’s great for clearing your head, quieting the mind, relaxation and reducing stress. Personally, I have noticed that my day runs more smoothly, with ease and flow when I spend even just a few minutes breathing with my eyes closed every morning.
The Secret to a Successful Yoga Practice? Practice!: The beautiful thing about a yoga practice is that its effects have the potential to permeate into all parts of your life. The deeper you practice, the greater your opportunity of becoming a successful human being.
In this week’s Overheard in Yoga Class, Amy Ippoliti explains the importance of restorative yoga. If you are the type of person who works really hard or is constantly giving and thinking and doing things for others, then it is important that you really make some time for yourself. We all need time to restore and rejuvenate, so let restorative yoga be your time to receive – a gift you give yourself for all you do.
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is perhaps the seminal work on the meaning and purpose of Yoga. The study of this text is not simply an academic curiosity, but a vital means of deepening our self-understanding and transforming our consciousness. In this seminar, we will explore essential teaching from all four chapters through not only lecture and dialogue, but also through integrated practices using asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation.
7:00 – 9:00 pm
September 6, 2009 – June 6, 2010
Class will meet the first Sunday of every month, for one year.
Who should attend? Open to all, especially practitioners and teachers of Yoga.
Christopher Key Chapple, Ph.D. is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University. He is author and editor of several books, including the 2008 Gandhi Award Winner, Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali’s Spiritual Path to Freedom.