This happened. It is real and it is true, so let us not turn a blind eye to something that has split the Bikram yoga community into a million fragments. I swear by this style of yoga, but I do not swear by the man behind this style of yoga.
I met Bikram Choudhury when he came to visit South Africa a few years ago. I did not see him as a guru. I do not see any of my yoga teachers as gurus, I think that is a very dangerous way to think. I saw him as an old man who knew how to sell his brand exceptionally well. He has had a lot of success exporting his style of yoga to the West and you can pretty much find a Bikram yoga studio in every major city across the world. Then this happened and now, like, how do we deal with it? You know when HBO get involved, you are going to have a challenging time looking at the story from all angles. It is interesting to watch how he handles all this heat. It really is a mess and the media is having a blast with it. I am not going to sensationalise the story further, but I will acknowledge that it is happening.
I teach and I practice this style of yoga. I love this style of yoga. I am not certified by Bikram himself, but I am certified by Sally which means way more to me because I have real access to her, thus making my teaching more pure because of that real connection. I subscribe to her way of teaching this style of hot yoga. That is the line in the sand that I draw. I teach this style of hot yoga because I honestly believe in it. It works for me and I’m sharing that with my students. I do not aspire to be like Bikram, I never have and I doubt I ever will.
We live in a time where we have access to more information than ever before. Be responsible, make up your own mind about what works for you and what doesn’t. For any drama like this to play out, there is an energetic entanglement on all kinds of levels and everyone is going to see things from their own perspective. This is not stopping me from practicing hot yoga. Bikram doesn’t own hot yoga. He doesn’t even own Bikram yoga. #Truth.
No one can own yoga. Yoga is for the people.
See you in class.