Bikram Choudhury, who is it

Bikram Choudhury, who is it

Bikram Choudhury, a Bengali who moved to America to teach his Bikram Yoga, practiced at high temperatures, is a controversial character, at the center of a scandal also made known by a documentary available on Netflix. Let’s find out more about Bikram.


  • The origins of Bikram Choudhury
  • Bikram Yoga
  • The controversial aspects


The origins

Bikram Choudhury is a yoga master famous for inventing Bikram yoga , a pre-established sequence of 26 asanas practiced in a heated environment up to 40 degrees Celsius, a kind of hatha yoga with a sauna.

Born in Calcutta in 1944 , Bikram Choudhury studies yoga under the guidance of master Bishnu Charan Ghosh, and after years of practice, he chooses only 26 among the more than 500 asanas of the Bishnu Charan Ghosh school, to meet the tastes of the West, conceiving also the idea of ​​practicing yoga in a heated room , according to him to simulate the Indian climate, ideal for the practice of yoga.

Another typical element of Bikram Choudhuryvery much in line with Western tastes, it is the competitive attitude, rather unnatural in a yogic context, which also pushes him to organize the Bishnu Charan Ghosh Cup , a competition for hathayogi and bodybuilders.

Bikram Yoga: yoga at high temperatures

It was in 1971 that Bikram Choudhury decided to emigrate to the United States , to Los Angeles, to start teaching yoga. Since the beginning of his new career, he stands out for his self-confident and over the top personality, often to the point of verging on arrogance.

Netflix has released a  documentary entitled ” Bikram : Yogi-Guru-Predator ” in which the atmosphere of almost cultism that Bikram Choudhury builds around himself becomes evident.

His popularity, like his business, has grown even and especially among celebrities from the US world.

In twenty years Bikram has built a real empire of “Bikram Yoga” brand studies, with thousands of teachers trained by him in person. Bikram Yoga is, as mentioned, a fixed sequence of asanas, to be precise it consists of 24 asanas, a pranayama exercise and a purifying one. Each session lasts an hour and a half , to be practiced at 40 degrees centigrade.

A character with many shadows

At the height of his success, Bikram Choudhury runs into a long line of legal problems. Initially due to a (lost) cause in which he tries to claim some copyright on the sequence of 26 asanas typical of Bikram Yoga.

But the American authorities blame him , since no one can, in fact, claim any intellectual property rights over any asana, a yogic legacy of millennia and heritage of all humanity.

Bikram Choudhury is later accused of sexual crimes and racist and homophobic behavior. In 2017 he was forced to pay 7 million dollars in damages to a client but, through his lawyer, Bikram Choudhury made it known that he would be expatriate and would never set foot in America again.

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