"IYENGAR YOGA" IS TRADEMARKED IN THE U.S.
HERE'S WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU:
In accordance with his lifetime contribution to the art, science, and philosophy of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar has pursued trademark protection so that yoga associated with his name reflects his work. As of August 14, 2007 the name "IYENGAR" associated with "YOGA" has been registered as a trademark and is protected in the United States in connection with teaching Iyengar yoga.
Only Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers in good standing are permitted to use "Iyengar Yoga" to describe their yoga programs or classes. The term “in good standing” as employed by B.K.S. Iyengar means that the certified teacher
- Teaches in the method set forth by B.K.S. Iyengar without mixing methods;
- Pays annual dues to their association and pays the annual certification mark fees;
- Receives continuing education from RIMYI or from an Intermediate or Advanced Iyengar teacher or teachers;
- Is mindful of the Ethical Guidelines laid out by B.K.S. Iyengar and has signed the annual certification mark/ethics agreement.
Only once they have passed the Level I assessment are they considered a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and only at that point can then call their classes Iyengar Yoga.
Attending Iyengar teacher training workshops or programs does not in itself provide certification to teach Iyengar Yoga or to use the name Iyengar. Only by attending and passing IYNAUS Level I assessments does one qualify for and become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Non-certified teachers may not use or advertise the terms "Iyengar Yoga,” “Iyengar style,“ or “Iyengar influenced” or similar words that could imply that they are certified or qualified to teach Iyengar yoga in classes, teacher trainings, workshops, and the like. They may not use the name Iyengar in any form of business communication, advertising, or for any financial gain. They may indicate that they have taken classes with Iyengar Yoga teachers; while teaching they may on occasion acknowledge that a certain way of teaching is drawn from the Iyengar method.
As part of observing the second Yama, Satya (truthfulness), noncertified teachers or certified teachers who are not in good standing should not lead students to believe that they are being taught by a fully Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in good standing. Additional information regarding the appropriate use of Mr. Iyengar’s name is also available in the IYNAUS Certification Manual. The Iyengar Yoga community welcomes all teachers to participate in our Certification process. That way, they too can earn the right to say that they teach Iyengar Yoga and assume the responsibilities associated with that privilege.
INFRACTIONS OF THIS TRADEMARK
There have been concerns within our community about non-certified teachers who have stated or advertised that they teach Iyengar Yoga. Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers find it disappointing that others, who have not followed the certification path/years of training outlined by Guruji, should claim authority to teach a subject we hold dear.
This trademark was applied for at the request of B.K.S. Iyengar and as part of IYNAUS's ongoing efforts to protect the teachings of Mr. Iyengar and the future of Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers and to show respect for the Certification Mark, which represents years of study, practice and strict dedication to the method.
HOW CAN YOU HELP INSURE PROPER USE OF "IYENGAR YOGA"?
While IYNAUS is a national association, it does not have oversight duties for the U.S. yoga community. In other words, IYNAUS, a volunteer organization, does not have the capacity to police the use of the term "Iyengar Yoga". This trademark was obtained for the benefit of our individual teachers. If you encounter or hear about a non-certified teacher using the term "Iyengar Yoga" to promote himself or herself, we are counting on you to help rectify this situation.
Most of the misuses of "Iyengar Yoga" are best worked out locally. In many cases, you, as a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, can contact the person who is misstating their qualifications and inform them about our Certification process, the amount of work required to earn the privilege of using the Iyengar name, and the name of a teacher who can help them become certified if they are interested. Informing this person that it was Mr. Iyengar's request that only Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers use his name will bolster your case.
However, if this suggestion is uncomfortable for you, please copy and paste the website or flyer indicating the violation and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your message will be sent to the Service Mark & Certification Mark Chair, Gloria Goldberg, and to the Ethics Committee Chair. The Ethics Committee Chair will let you know what action is taken.
If the infraction continues in spite of these diplomatic efforts to correct it, please re-contact us at the same address and further action will be initiated.
We hope this clarifies your questions and helps you in protecting your certification and right to use the Certification Mark.