The Indian government has set up a task force to create a database of yoga techniques, in a bid to prevent the patenting of poses. The US Patent Office has given out 150 yoga-related copyrights and 2,300 trademarks.
The government is translating ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts and is also cataloguing ayurvedic medicines.
The finished information will be available in five languages, so patent offices around the world can access it, according to a report in The International Herald Tribune.
The move follows rising concern that people are attempting to profit from India's cultural inheritance.
Controversial yoga instructor Bikram Choudhury came under fire for insisting that a sequence of 26 poses he put together can only be taught by graduates of his training school who have paid him a fee.