The new Netflix documentary ‘Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator’ is not a great look for the man who
created made Bikram Yoga famous as it details a string of racial, verbal and sexual abuse allegations against the yoga legend.
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Bikram Choudhury launched Bikram Yoga in the 70s claiming he had invented it but as the documentary reveals, he learnt everything from his guru Bishnu Charan Ghosh. However that one lie is nothing compared to the other accusations and evidence against him.
During the documentary Bikram is covertly filmed over the years ripping into his students for being fat, useless etc and just generally being a total arsehole during his lessons. I don’t think there’s too much wrong with that, but when you hear the stories from the women he abused and how he manipulated them over the years you get to see what a twisted megalomaniac Bikram Choudhury really is.
Bikram has since fled the US after his former attorney Micki Jafa-Bodden won a discrimination and harassment lawsuit against him and a jury awarded her $7 million (which he hasn’t paid any of). He’s been busy building a new following in places like Mexico and Spain, and he has ‘Bikram’s Legacy Tour of India 2020’ coming up in January and February.
Still,the LA Times reports that Bikram managed to watch the documentary about himself on Netflix, and he had this to say through publicist Richard Hillgrove:
Bikram Choudhury totally refutes all the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment presented in the film and is deeply upset by the continued character assassination. Bikram believes that the concerted effort by money-motivated lawyers to proactively send letters to a database of all his clients, offering people free legal representation and the promise of $1 million insurance policy pay-outs is the primary motivation for this reputational catastrophe. Bikram believes the Netflix film is nothing more than a repetition of old material.
And yet he says Bikram’s actually quite happy about the response:
Bikram yoga is certainly going through a renaissance worldwide. The attention created by the much talked about Netflix documentary, Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, has had the opposite effect that many people expected. Droves and droves of people are wanting to experience Bikram Hot Yoga. Despite the somewhat unfair and negative sentiment, Netflix has certainly helped to create a Bikram comeback.
To be fair, even I was getting a little bit curious about Bikram Yoga while watching the documentary. OK it sucks that the guy who popularised Bikram turned out to be a racist, rapist and overall scumbag, but the techniques look like they actually work to life-changing levels, as even his accusers acknowledge over and over again in the doc.
As for his claims that he’s innocent, I can’t imagine anyone with half a brain can believe him. Of the six women who have accused Bikram Choudhury of sexual assault, four have been paid off out of court. You just don’t do that if you’re innocent, do you?
Anyway, it’s worth a watch whether you’re into yoga or not or if you’re interested in seeing step by step guide on how a predator builds up his prey to pounce on them when he’s ready. Luckily, these women were ready to speak up (eventually).
For the woman hosting an ‘Undoing Whiteness’ yoga class that helps people ‘undo their toxic whiteness’, click HERE. Bet she’s a sex pest and all.