Bikram Studios Distancing Themselves From Founder Amid Sexual Assault Charges
“Hot yoga,” as it’s called is under fire because of sexual assault claims against its founder.
…a day of legal reckoning is drawing closer for the guru, Bikram Choudhury. He is facing six civil lawsuits from women accusing him of rape or assault. The most recentwas filed on Feb. 13 by a Canadian yogi, Jill Lawler, who said she was raped by Mr. Choudhury during a teacher-training in the spring of 2010.
This month, a Los Angeles judge cleared away several challenges to a lawsuit from a former student who said Mr. Choudhury raped her during another 2010 teacher-training.
The first complaint was filed two years ago. As more surfaced, and more women spoke publicly about accusations of assault and harassment, their accounts have created fissures in the close-knit world of yoga students and teachers who have spent thousands of dollars to study with Mr. Choudhury; opened studios bearing his name; and found strength, flexibility and health in his formula of 26 yoga postures in a sweltering room.
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