Bikram Choudhury (born February 10, 1944) is an Indian yoga teacher and the founder of Bikram Yoga, a form of hot yogaperformed in a series of 26 hatha yoga postures done in a hot environment of 40 °C (104 °F).
Born in Calcutta, India, Bikram Choudhury began learning Hatha Yoga poses at the age of three. At five, he began studying with Bishnu Ghosh (Paramahansa Yogananda’s brother) and claims to have won the National India Yoga Championship for three consecutive years in his teens. Bikram created a 26 posture series, which he claims restored his health. The 105 degree Fahrenheit heat in which Bikram yoga is practiced is, according to Choudhury, meant to mimic the climate of India.
At age 20, Bikram claims he was in a crippling weightlifting accident. Although he claims that he was told he would never be able to walk again, with the help of Ghosh, he claims to have fully recovered within 6 months. Choudhury emigrated to the United States in the 1970s and founded yoga studios in California and Hawaii. In the 1990s, he began offering nine-week teacher certification courses. Certified instructors now number in the thousands with Bikram Yoga studios all over the world.
Bikram Choudhury is married to Rajashree Choudhury, founder of the United States Yoga Federation. Bikram Choudhury previously made claims that the postures of his yoga practice, Bikram Yoga, were under copyright and that they could not be taught or presented by anyone whom he had not authorized. Bikram began making copyright claims on Bikram Yoga in 2012. In 2011 Choudhury started a lawsuit against Yoga to the People, a competing yoga studio founded by a former student of Bikram's and with a location near one of the Bikram Yoga studios in New York City. As a result of that lawsuit, the United States Copyright Office issued a clarification that yoga postures (asanas) could not be copyrighted in the way claimed by Bikram, and that Yoga to the People and others could continue to freely teach these exercises.
Born: February 10, 1944, Calcultta, British India
Nationality: Indian, American
Occupation: Yoga Known for: Founder of Bikram Yoga
Spouse: Rajashree Choudhury
BIKRAM'S YOGA COLLEGE OF INDIA
BIKRAM YOGA WORLD HEADQUARTERS
11500 W. Olympic Blvd.Suite 150
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: 310-854- 5800
Chairman and CEO, Bikram's Yoga College of India