Bikram Choudhury teaches a system of yoga comprising 26 traditional Hatha yoga postures practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The Bikram yoga series is designed to progress from one posture to the next, each posture preparing the body for the posture that follows. Bikram yoga is the original Hot yoga and was founded by Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram began learning hatha yoga in his native India at the age of three. At five, he began studying with Bishnu Ghosh (brother of famous Paramahansa Yogananda, who founded the self-realization fellowship) and at 11 he was the youngest ever-National yoga champion of India, holding the title three consecutive years. At 14, Swami Shivananda declared him ‘Yogi Raj’ (King of the Yogi’s).
Bikram went on to pursue a career in weightlifting, until the age of 18 when a weightlifting accident crushed his knee, severely crippling him. Doctors told him that he would never walk again. Not accepting their prognosis, Bikram carried himself back to Bishnu Ghosh and together they worked to create a yoga system to restore health and wellbeing. Bikram then spent three years working with western doctors and scientists at Tokyo University Hospital perfecting his comprehensive system of 26 postures suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Bikram helped doctors prove that yoga regenerates tissues and heals chronic ailments.
Bikram arrived in the United States in 1973 at the invitation of President Nixon and the urging of Shirley Maclaine. Since that time he has been teaching thousands of students at his school in Los Angeles and travelling the world extensively, bringing the benefits of Bikram Yoga to millions of students worldwide.
“Yoga is for everyone. There are always some postures that will improve your health, mind and soul."
Born in Kolkata, India in 1965, Rajashree Choudhury started her yoga training at the urging of her parents at the age of four. She holds a degree in Hatha Yoga Therapy. She was the unbeaten five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship Competition from 1979 to 1983. After studying at Mahila Yoga Byam Kendra, Ghosh’s College of Physical Education, she received her Certification in the Application of Hatha Yoga Therapy for chronic diseases and disorders.
Rajashree enjoys most teaching with her husband, Bikram Choudhury, the world renowned hatha yoga master, who is famous for his system of Bikram Yoga therapeutic hatha yoga postures. They both teach at Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California and conduct seminars worldwide.
Rajashree specializes in yoga therapy for persons with chronic diseases and disorders. She co-manages the intensive nine-week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training course and teaches her highly-acclaimed Pregnancy Yoga Classes along with being the doting-caring mother of a very active teenage daughter, Laju, and a soccer mom for her athletic son, Anurag. Like their parents, both children are already practicing advanced yoga postures and surely will be expert yogis.
Rajashree has appeared on many national television programs in the United States and abroad and conducts seminars worldwide promoting the countless benefits of yoga. Among her many pet projects are the KarmaforKids yoga camp for children with cancer and the International Yoga Asana Championship.
It takes more than a hot room and a list of postures to make your Bikram Yoga practice a safe, rewarding experience. Bikram Yoga is a specialized form of yoga, requiring appropriate training and knowledge to teach it effectively.
Bikram Choudhury, the creator of Bikram Yoga, personally trains and certifies his instructors to ensure that his methods and philosophy are preserved and properly taught. To be certified as an instructor in the Bikram Method of Yoga, an instructor must complete an intensive nine-week training session requiring over 500 hours of study. A studio guided by a Certified Instructor provides the best possible instruction in the Bikram Method. Certified Instructors have a continuing connection to Bikram Choudhury and his training staff, allowing the Certified Studio to draw from all of the resources Bikram’s training center has to offer. This includes special seminars, posture clinics, guest instructors, and answers to questions that may arise in a particular practitioner’s Bikram Yoga practice.