Kolkata born 65-year old Indian yoga guru, Bikram Choudhury in
the US is suing his former student, Greg Gumucio for over a million dollars for copying his unique 'Bikram Yoga' style of exercises that involves a 26-posture sequence done in a room heated up to 105 degree-fahrenheit (41 degree centigrade).
Choudhury, the founder of 'Bikram Yoga', claims to have copyrighted this technique. In the lawsuit filed in a California court for copyright infringement, Choudhury has sought damages in excess of a million dollars and urged a federal judge to block the chain of studios- 'Yoga to the People', founded by Gumucio.
Choudhury alleged that Gumucio's yoga studios offer the 'traditional hot yoga' class that is identical to his 'Bikram Yoga'. Bikram Yoga class costs $25, while Gumucio's chain of studios charges $8 for the session. This tough competition has made it impossible for Choudhury to continue his classes in Manhattan.
In his defence, Gumucio said, "I have never agreed with Bikram and his idea that he owned the yoga or that he should sue anyone. The sequence of poses is not exactly the same as Choudhury's."
Choudhury is also suing two other studios for copyright infringement.