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Bikram’s Lawsuits: When is it time to stop separating the practice from the guru?

After being accused for sexual harassment back in March, Bikram Choudury has now been accused of rape in two new lawsuits. According to Yogadork.com and yogajournal.com two women have filed separate lawsuits earlier this week claiming they were raped by Bikram Choudhury and that Bikram’s inside circle actively recruits women for him - knowing abuse is a possibility.

'“In one of lawsuits filed this week a Jane Doe alleges sexual battery, false imprisonment, discrimination, harassment, and other counts in addition to the rape allegation. It describes a cult-like atmosphere where Bikram’s followers help him find young women to assault. “Other persons in defendant Bikram inner circle, were aware of defendant Bikram Choudhury’s pattern and practice of causing, inducing or persuading young women to enroll in teacher training classes to become yoga instructors only so he can sexually assault and/or rape them,” the lawsuit claims.'

Until proven otherwise the man is innocent – of course, but I just wonder when enough is enough?

I used to love Bikram Yoga. You can read about that here and here. But after meeting Mr. Choudhury at his talk at The Black Diamond here in Copenhagen I got enough and had to leave. As said in the blog post about the event (here) the man is more of a mafia boss than an Indian guru. I went back to my Ashtanga practice (I’d rather have a dead Guru than a crazy one) and started doing hot yoga. I wasn’t the only who had enough of Bikram’s Bentleys and his patents, but wherever I turned I heard: you have to separate the practice form the man. I agree to a large extent. Bikram Yoga is a beautiful practice. It has helped thousands of people around the globe. But it has also made Bikram a very powerful and rich man. And do we really want to support that?

If there’s any truth in the rape accusations – and without knowing ANYTHING about it - I am not going to support Bikram by going to his studios. I think it’s about time we stop separating the practice from the man and see Bikram for what he really is: a very good business man who apparently can’t keep it in his speedos.

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