Bikram Choudhury, the Hot Yoga guru, is in Hot Water

Bikram Choudhury astrologyBikram Choudhury is no stranger to controversy.  Founder of Bikram Yoga, the 26-posture sequence that is performed in an environment of at least 105 degrees, Choudhury has been involved in several copyright infringement lawsuits and sexual harassment complaints.  In a discipline that for thousands of years has embraced the wide sharing of knowledge, Choudhury’s attempt to claim ownership over yoga poses has been controversial even in the world of American yoga which is admittedly more material in nature than in its native India.  Choudhury first came to the US at the request of President Nixon in 1973, a very auspicious beginning to his career here.  The fact that so many adherents have achieved positive results is an admirable thing.  But over the past years his behavior has become more and more bizarre. Developing a healthy ego is an important aspect to personal development.  However, Bikram Choudhury, comparing himself to Jesus Christ and the Buddha, shamelessly exhibit the ego identification in a field that is designed to help its students transcend the shackles of ego identification.  Asmita is the Sanskrit word that translates as “I-amness” and is said to be one of the five kleshas, or hindrances, to a practice of yoga (defined by Patanjali as the “stilling of the changing states of the mind.”  I report these things to illustrate how far Choudhury has strayed from the principles of true yoga, using these examples:

  • He owns a fleet of more than 40 Rolls Royces and Bentleys and a million dollar watch.  
  • He violates most ethical standards by admitting to sex with his students.
  • He claims to dominate 98% of yoga in the world.
  • He is prone to statements like “Every top doctor […]
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By |2019-11-10T19:26:53-05:00August 8th, 2013|People|2 Comments

Great yoga podcast!

One thing I regularly prescribe for my clients and anyone else who will listen is a regular practice of yoga. I first discovered yoga when I was in college back in 1969 and though I have been a sporadic practitioner since then, I have always found it to be a fantastic ally for life on earth. The word “yoga” comes from the sanskrit word for “union,” and it truly does facilitate the uniting of the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is a wonderful tool for dealing with problematic planetary cycles: it grounds us when we’re feeling confused by Neptune, and it uplifts us when we’re under the thumb of Saturn’s negativity. It soothes the jangled nervous system under a transit of Uranus, and helps us to release the wounds revealed by Chiron. It’s simply a marvelous gift.

I have found a really lovely class online taught by Elsie Escobar, an instructor in California who is generous enough to distribute free audio podcasts of her classes (or you can listen right on your computer if you don’t have an mp3 player). She even kindly gives instructions for downloading podcasts.

Although I gravitate mostly towards a vinyasa or power-type practice, I have found Elsie’s class to be one of the best I have ever seen for connecting the inner practice of focus and release to the practice of the poses. She is teacher of the Anusara method which is based in heart opening and joy which is a nice alternative to the intensity of the power yoga that I am used to. And in addition, her actual instruction in the dynamics of each pose goes beyond anything I have seen. To top it off, her personality radiates through the audio and […]

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By |2007-03-27T09:47:00-04:00March 27th, 2007|Miscellany|Comments Off on Great yoga podcast!
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