Bikram a few year ago leading a yoga teacher training
What Happened To Bikram’s & What Is His Future With Yoga Teacher Training

If you do yoga or have done a yoga teacher training (ytt) recently, than you know how Bikram’s has upended the yoga industry. In this blog, we will talk about: What happened to Bikram and what is his future with yoga teacher training.

Who Is Bikram?

Bikram Choudhury is the founder of Bikram Yoga, Also known as the founder of hot yoga. He was born in Calcutta in 1946.

He through ingenuity developed his own style of yoga – Bikram Yoga – which is a unique series of 26 popular yoga poses. This sequence of 26 poses was married with a hot environment. This was to replicate the hot environment of India, where yoga originated. 

He was one of the first Indians East to  popularized yoga in the United States. He at one time had over 300 yoga studios worldwide.

The Legal Stuff

Starting in  2015, Choudhury began to endure a series of sexual harassment and assault allegations. 

After a lot of bad publicity, in 2016, as part of a settlement agreement he agreed to pay $6.8 million (U.S) to a former legal advisor Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, who accused him of harassment and discrimination. 

Soon after this agreement, a bench warrant was issued. This happened because Bikram failed to appear in court, as he was required. The bench warrant was also related to his failure to pay the $6.8 million.

Moreover, Bikram attempted to transfer assets to his former wife and tried to remove assets from California’s jurisdiction. He did this by taking cars and other valuable assets to other state.  All of this only compounded his legal position. 

students waiting in front of bikram yogaWhat Is The Future of Bikrams

The biggest result of the legal stuff against Bikram’s (i.e. the bench warrant) forced Bikram to  permanently relocate to outside of the United States. 

He now runs his ytts in Mexico primarily (formerly they were done mainly in L.A). Recent protests tried to stop him from running a yoga teacher training in Vancouver, Canada.

The allegations also made most of the Bikram Yoga studios break their franchise agreements with him. A few still run their studios under the Bikram Yoga brand.  But many studios changed their studio names to distanced themselves from the brand.  Lastly, some studios have gone on to create their own variations of hot yoga.

It is unclear what the future holds for Bikram Yoga. Regardless if the brand can recover from these legal issues, the practice of hot yoga will continue to be popular.