Bikram Choudhury is an Indian-American yoga instructor best known as the founder of Bikram Yoga, a form of hot yoga performed in a series of 26 hath a yoga postures in a hot environment. As of 2019, Bikram Choudhury net worth is estimated to be $75 million.
Choudhury was born on February 10, 1944, in Calcutta. He began learning Hatha Yoga poses when he was only three years old. By the time he turned five, he started to study with Bishnu Ghosh and went on to win the National India Yoga Championship for three consecutive years. However, recent evidence has proven that his claims of both early training under Bishnu Charan Ghosh as well as of winning the National Indian Yoga championships to be fake.
Choudhury is known for creating 26 posture series, which he claims restored his health. He emigrated to the United States in the 1970s and founded yoga studios in California as well as in Hawaii. In the 1990s, he began offering nine-week teacher certification courses.
Bikram made claims that the series of 26 postures of his yoga practice, Bikram Yoga, was under copyright and that they could not be taught by anyone whom he had not authorized. In 2011, he started a lawsuit against Yoga to the People, a yoga studio founded by his former student and with a location near one of Bikram’s studio in New York City. The lawsuit, however, issued a clarification that yoga postures could not be copyrighted in the way claimed by Bikram, and the Yoga to the People and others could continue to teach the exercise.
During the course of his career, Choudhury has faced many lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, assault, racism, and homophobia. Since 2013, six women have come forward accusing Choudhury of alleged sexual assault and rape. However, he denies those allegations as completely false. According to ABC News, Choudhury settled three sex and rape and sexual assault cases out of court.
Minakshi “Miki” Jafa-Bodden was the only woman to win a lawsuit against Choudhury. She was his former lawyer who sued him for wrongful termination and sexual harassment. In 2016, he was ordered to pay $6.5 million in punitive damages and $924,000 in compensatory damages to Minakshi. However, according to ABC News, he did not pay any of the millions owed to Minakshi. Instead, he fled the country in 2016 and he now teaches training classes in Mexico.
Regarding his personal life, he was married to Rajashree Choudhury, founder of the United States Yoga Federation. In December 2015, she filed for divorce from Bikram citing irreconcilable differences and their divorce was finalized in May 2016.
Bikram Choudhury Net Worth: $75 million
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