Who is Bikram Choudhury?
Bikram Choudhury, founder of the Yoga College of India and Bikram Yoga, began learning yoga in his native country, India, at the age of three. At five, he began studying with his guru, Bishnu Ghosh, the brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (well known author of the Autobiography of a Yogi) and quickly became a regional yoga champion. At age eleven, he was the youngest contestant to win the national India Yoga Competition. At age 20, a weightlifting accident crippled Bikram. He retired from the sport and began practicing yoga professionally. Six months later, with the guidance of his internationally renowned teacher, Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram came to realize that yoga can cure chronic physical ailments. Bikram decided to teach his curative methods of yoga to other enthusiasts, and thus, Bikram yoga began.
In 1972, Bikram was asked to go to Hawaii to treat President Nixon for advanced thrombophlebitis. Bikram prescribed a simple yoga routine, which resulted in the Presidentís healing and his personal invitation to Bikram to come live permanently in the United States of America. Bikram established his Yoga College of India and Los Angeles headquarters in 1974, where students and teachers from all corners of the world come to practice his yoga.
Beyond anecdotal evidence regarding the benefits of a regular practice, Bikram has engaged in research with some leading research hospitals. In a medical research project at Tokyo University, Bikram helped doctors prove that yoga practice helps regenerate tissues and alleviates chronic ailments. There are currently several exciting studies being done to confirm the medical benefits of Bikram Yoga, including one by the University of Southern California and one at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center testing bone density improvement through Bikram Yoga.