Yoga Inc.

 (58:29)

About this episode

Yoga has transformed from an ancient spiritual practice into a competitive, commercialized, multi-million dollar industry. And for a practice rooted in renunciation, yoga sure is making some people very rich. Can yoga survive this war between the sacred and the profane with its good karma intact? Esak Garcia is a star on the burgeoning competitive yoga circuit, racking up cash prizes and edging ever closer to snagging an endorsement deal. But Esak's ultimate goal is the Olympics, a dream instilled in him by his guru Bikram Choudhury. Bikram's supporters applaud his crusade to have yoga recognized as an Olympic sport. His detractors are horrified. It's typical of the controversies that surround the so-called Bad Boy of Yoga. Bikram has also copyrighted his popular yoga style. Those who teach Bikram yoga without playing by his rules are hit with crippling copyright infringement fees. So a group of yoga studio owners take Bikram to court to pose an important legal question: Can anyone own yoga? In today's yoga world only the marketplace has real meaning, where everything is up for grabs, from yoga shoes to chakra panties. In the race to cash in yoga chains are popping up everywhere, putting the smaller studios out of business. No wonder purists are scratching their heads. Is nothing sacred? Greed, lust, ego and the search for enlightenment all come together in this original, irreverent portrait of spiritualism and capitalism colliding head on.