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The Hot Yoga Doctor and Bikram Settle Their Lawsuit

Gabrielle Raiz, the renowned “Hot Yoga Doctor,” and Bikram Choudhury have reached a settlement of their dispute that includes a dismissal of their competing lawsuits.


WEBWIRE

Gabrielle Raiz, the renowned “Hot Yoga Doctor,” and Bikram Choudhury have reached a settlement of their dispute that includes a dismissal of their competing lawsuits. Under the settlement, Raiz and Choudhury will both be able to focus their energies on developing their brands.

“I am thrilled that the cloud over the Hot Yoga Doctor brand has been dispelled, and I can focus my energies on what I truly love; bringing yoga to the greatest number of people,” Raiz said.

Raiz is the author of the highly-regarded Hot Yoga MasterClass manual, which is considered by many as the most authoritative guide to Hot Yoga.

In 2011, Bikram sued numerous yoga studios and teachers, including Raiz and her husband Robert Scanlon. All of those suits have now been settled or (in the case of one suit) the court ruled against Bikram asserting that he does not own yoga poses in any form.

“We were prepared to fight this lawsuit to its conclusion in court because our case is strong,” said Scanlon. “But our agreement with Bikram affirms what we have always believed: that no one person or organization owns any asana or series of asanas.”

Raiz said: ”This is not just a victory for me, but for the hundreds of yoga teachers and students out there who have been scared to branch out on their own. We held firm on our priority to create an agreement that would be totally non-confidential, so that everyone can see that there are no grounds to stop anyone writing a book on any yoga poses no matter what sequence, and that as an instructor, teaching any yoga you like is your right. And yes,” Gabrielle quips, “both sides are happy not to have to waste countless thousands on court proceedings.”

On 14 December 2012, in another lawsuit launched by Bikram, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Otis D. Wright ruled that Bikram does not own the series of 26 asanas known as Bikram Yoga™ and the series is incapable of receiving copyright protection.

For more information or for a copy of the agreement, please contact Gabrielle Raiz: info@hotyogadoctor.com +617 5445 8822

Gabrielle Raiz and Robert Scanlon wish to thank Jordan Susman, who acted as their attorney in the case. Susman gained a following as the author of the article “My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma” published March 1, 2005 outlining in detail why Bikram’s copyright registration was falsely granted and should be disallowed.

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