Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India™. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began Yoga at the age of four with India’s most-renowned physical culturist at that time, Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (Author of the most popular book on Yoga, The Autobiography of a Yogi, and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles). Ghosh was a celebrated physical culturist and the first to scientifically document Yoga’s ability to cure chronic physical ailments and heal the body.
Bikram practiced Yoga at least four to six hours every day at Ghosh’s College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of thirteen, he won the National India Yoga Championship. He was undefeated for the following three years and retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion. He went on to pursue an athletic career as a marathon runner and an Olympic style weight lifter.
At seventeen, an injury to his knee during a weight-lifting accident brought the prediction from doctors that he would never walk again. Not accepting their pronouncement, he had himself carried back to Bishnu Ghosh’s school, for he knew that if anyone could help to heal his knee, it was his teacher. Six months later, his knee had recovered, and Bikram continued to help at Gosh’s school.
While many today think of yoga as only exercise, yoga was originally prescribed like medicine to the sick and injured in India, and hundreds lined up daily to be treated at Bishnu Gosh’s school. Bikram and other disciples of Gosh would be assigned to work one-on-one with each person to teach them their prescribed postures. Bikram realized that he was limited working one-on-one with his patients and wanted to devise a way to help more people. This idea led him to put together a 26 posture sequence designed to help most conditions and ailments while also working as preventative medicine.
This same 26 posture sequence became Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, and has been taught by Bikram and his certified Instructors since he founded Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California in 1974. Millions of people around the world, including many celebrities and professional athletes, continue to experience health and healing from Bikram’s tried and true yoga prescription.
Rajashree Choudhury, five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship, brings years of experience to her teaching of Bikram Yoga.
Born in Kolkata, India in 1965, Rajashree started her yoga training at the urging of her parents at age four. She was a five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship from 1979 to 1983. After studying at Mahila Yoga Byam Kendra, Gosh’s College of Physical Education and Yoga Training Institute, she received her Certification in Hatha Yoga Therapy for chronic diseases and disorders.
With over 15 years in the East and 25 years in the West, Rajashree’s special focus has been on the emotional side of yoga and how yoga balances the energy of the human body and impacts not only disease, but also affects the body/mind/soul connection which constitutes vibrant health.
She also helped her husband, Bikram Choudhury, create the highly successful Teacher Training program after more than ten years of teaching yoga in the United States. She conducts seminars on yoga and personal development worldwide. She also teaches her highly-acclaimed Pregnancy Yoga Classes.
Rajashree has appeared on many national television programs in the United States and abroad doing seminars worldwide promoting the countless benefits of yoga. Among her many pet projects are Karma Is Action (Formerly KarmaforKids), a yoga-based fundraiser devoted to alleviating the suffering of children with life-threatening illnesses and to cleaning up environmental causes which may lead to these diseases, and the annual International Yoga Asana Championships. In conjunction with the championships she has founded the USA Yoga Federation, a non-profit organization formed to facilitate her goal of yoga ultimately being accepted as an Olympic Sport. Most recently her mission is to help women in crisis of all ages and nationalities. She has created Labanya Foundation: a World Wide Women’s Welfare charity organization.
To learn more about Bikram and Rajashree visit www.BikramYoga.com