In an order by the court of appeals for the ninth circuit in California on Thursday, a bench of three judges ruled in favour of city-based Evolation Yoga, against whom Mr Choudhury had filed a lawsuit in 2011. The classes take place in a room that is more than 100 degrees and are supposed to provide health and fitness benefits.
The court rejected Choudhury’s arguments that he was entitled to copyright protection because his arrangement of the poses constituted a compilation.
“Copyright protects only the expression of this idea – the words and pictures used to describe the sequence -and not the idea of the sequence itself”, wrote Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw in the court’s decision.
An attorney for Choudhury could not immediately be reached for comment. Evolation Yoga, a national collective of yoga teachers and studios co-founded by a former member of Choudhury’s training staff, was named as a defendant in the case.
“Yoga belongs to everybody, and no individual owns any particular style or sequence of yoga poses”, Maier said in an email.
When asked about his wife of 30 years’ reaction to the lawsuits, Choudhury said of fellow instructor Rajashree: “My wife never look at me anymore”.