Bikram Choudhury was born in Calcutta in 1946 and began Hatha Yoga at the age of four. He learned Yoga from Vishnu Ghosh (brother of Paramhansa Yogananda). At age 11, he was the youngest contestant ever to win the national India Yoga Competition. Swami Shjivananda declared him "Yogi Raj" (King of the Yogis). He won the National Indian Yoga Championship for the four consecutive years.By the age of fourteen he won the title of National Yoga Champion. But at the age of seventeen, he injured himself during an weight lifting exercise and had a serious knee injury. The doctors told him he would not be able to walk again. But Bikram Choudhury did not give in, with a strong determination he cured himself by Yoga. From that experience Bikram Choudhury developed his own exclusive method using the blueprint of eighty-four postures of yoga sutras of Patanjali. Choudhury mainly selected Twenty-six postures of Yoga that could be completed within ninety minutes.
Bikram Choudhury combined the Eastern discipline with the Western medicine and perfectly composed a comprehensive Yoga system, suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Bikram Choudhury came to United States in the year 1973 and became the foremost teacher of Yoga. Since then he has been healing thousand of students at his school at Los Angeles and other places. Bikram Choudhury has lived in the United States for more than three decades. He founded the Yoga College of India in 1974 in Los Angeles, where he still teaches Yoga. Bikram Choudhury has brought the yoga waves throughout the west in the past decade. His client list includes many celebrities like Madonna, Abdul Kareem Jabbar, Shirley MacLaine, and John Mc. Enroe etc.
Bikram Choudhury's wife rajashree was also the five-time winner of All India Yoga Championship Competition, where she competed against both men and women. She is now the lead instructor of Bikram Yoga. Bikram Choudhury also wrote 'Bikram's Beginning Yoga class Book', which is a popular seller among Yoga books. In the Nineties Bikram Choudhury began offering nine-week teacher certification courses, and certified instructors from his institution are around thousand in numbers who franchised studios all over the world.
Bikram Choudhury's style of yoga is not beyond controversy. Many traditionalists went against his concept of selling yoga as the principles of yoga discourage greed. But one has to agree that Bikram Choudhury is one of them who has blended capitalism with spirituality and about eighteen millions people over the world is following Bikram Yoga.
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