With the rapidly increasing industrial lifestyle, people have slowly turned their heads towards the importance of health. Different forms of physical and mental exercises have exploded the fitness market. Yoga, being a sub-division of exercise types, has several instructors over the world. One such instructor is yogi Bikram Choudhary, who is a very successful yoga practitioner and teacher.
His achievements have helped him receive India’s National Yoga championship title three times as a teenager. Also, he has published two books, namely Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class and Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga.
Bikram shared his marital life with Yoga therapist Rajashree Choudhary for 31 years. Rajashree is the founder of the United States Yoga Federation.
He and his former wife got married in 1984, but with several misunderstandings, they parted their ways in May 2016 as the divorce filed in December of 2015 got finalized.
Bikram Choudhary with his ex-wife Rajashree Choudhary demonstrating a yoga pose(Photo: dailymail.co.uk)
During the time of their split, Rajashree alleged Bikram of rape and battery charges somewhere in 2015. After the court finalized their divorce, she got a huge portion of her husband’s property after the divorce. She went home with houses in LA and Beverly Hills, Luxury Cars, and protection against any future lawsuits.
During their relationship, the ex-couple had welcomed two children- Laju Choudhary(daughter) and Anurag Choudhary(son). Both of them are proud of the Yoga practice their father founded years ago and strictly follow the routine daily.
The guru also got filed for rape allegations from six other women later on. The case went on to the court, where the papers also included blames like taking advantage of his female student’s vulnerabilities and exploiting them.
Career- Bikram Yoga
Bikram Choudhury is known for the Bikram Yoga. Born in a country with heavy Hindu influence, he followed the steps of another yoga guru Swami Vivekananda and got into contemporary yoga. His practice involves the repetition of hatha yoga postures in a 105-degree hot environment. The study also includes twenty-six postures and a time-bar of 90 minutes.
Talking about his career journey, the 73-years-old man started his yoga journey at a young age of three. Starting from an early age, Bikram is known for his tenacity in his craft. As a kid, he practiced yoga six hours a day. He trained under the wingspan of Bishnu Charan Ghosh. Later, he left his country in the 1970s and went to Japan. He taught his teachings there for some time and moved to the United States, where he started his yoga studio in San Francisco.
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In 1972, Bikram launched his institute named Bikram's Yoga College of India in San Francisco and went on to add a few more sections as the years went by. He began his trainer certification course in the 1990s and gained massive exposure.
Now, Indian Yoga Guru is one of the reputed Indian gurus. With his unique and effective yoga practices, Bikram has attracted several celebrities and athletes over the years. Some of the famous names include Gene Reynolds, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Demi Moore, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and John McEnroe. Besides that, he has also taught Presidents, including Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.
The successful yoga empire went down the hills when several charges against the guru were filed starting from 2013. In 2016, a multi-million dollar civil ruling got filed against him. Further, in 2017, Bikram Yoga filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Before all the mishappenings, Bikram enjoyed an estimated net worth of $75 million. As per the Celebrity Net Worth in 2014, he had an annual salary of $10 million per annum. However, his current earnings are still under review, though.
Lawsuits and Sexual Harassment
Founder of Bikram Yoga has had faced a few intense scrutiny and controversies in the past.
In 2015, a former Bikram Yoga teacher, Jill Lawler, came forward alleging Bikram Choudhary of sexual assault and battery. As confirmed by FOX 5, she revealed that the incident took place somewhere between 2012 and 2014 when she was only 18. According to the victim, she got forcefully raped and forced to say some erotic dialogues during the intercourse. The assault happened multiple times over the years.
To this day, six women have filed lawsuits against the once-renowned yoga guru. But, as for Bikram, he has denied every allegation thrown to him and says that he has not abused any of his female followers.
Besides the sexual harassment case, in May of 2014, an arrest warrant had got issued against Bikram. As confirmed, he had failed to pay $7 million for the judgment against him, which led him to the U.S custody and a bail amount of $8 million.
Bikram Choudhury was born on 10 February 1964, in India. He stands at a short stature of 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters). With his healthy lifestyle, he has maintained an appropriate weight of 63kgs.
Talking about his family, Bikram’s father was an accountant, and his mother was a housewife. He lost two of his siblings Basanti and Bacchu, when he was young due to a smallpox epidemic in India. Bikram has a total of six siblings; two older brothers named Ashim and Asis; an older sister Jayanti; and two younger siblings, Buddha and Lucy, excluding the ones that have passed.