It has come to our attention that the founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury has been accused of serial and predatory sexual abuse of his teacher trainees. This has prompted swift action in our greater yoga community on three main fronts. It is imperative at this time that we separate ourselves and our studio from the person accused of such reprehensible behavior.
BYP will always be a safe place to practice yoga. Since the studio’s inception, we have had a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse and harassment. Any student or staff accused of either will be suspended immediately and the situation investigated.
Together, we have built an amazing, supportive community where all people can heal and thrive. Our studio will continue to be that safe space.
Are we going to lose our yoga? Bikram Yoga was brought to the West by the man, Bikram Choudhury. It is a brilliant and effective yoga modality. In fact, Bikram Yoga is the most effective, accessible, and therapeutic yoga program in existence. We won’t deprive you of it’s healing potential because of the deplorable behavior of one person.
The “brand” of Bikram Yoga was built class-by-class by dedicated studio owners, teachers, and students all over this country and the world. I am very thankful to my teacher for giving me the foundations to teach this modality. I also know that the community and the reputation we have built is ours alone. We have had to survive his embarrassing antics and ridiculous commentary in half-untrue interviews on TV and in print. Through all of this, the yoga has survived because it is so powerful. We have cultivated this yoga community despite the behavior of the person, not because of him.
Is my money supporting Bikram Choudhury? NO. BYP has always been an independently-owned, local, small business. In 2007, Bikram Choudhury told GQ in an interview that he had hundreds of franchises all over the world. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now. We have NEVER paid Bikram or Bikram, Inc a penny of your money to teach the discipline or use the name.
The only time Bikram Choudhury made money is at his own schools in Los Angeles when people visit to take classes, and at his teacher trainings. Because it is clear that his behavior at teacher trainings is predatory and unsafe, we are working actively to seek and develop alternative trainings for our new teachers.
There are some very exciting prospects on the horizon, so stay tuned for updates in the studio.
In the meantime, if you have questions, please ask us. This is an upsetting time for our community and a time we need one another, and our yoga, more than ever.