Then came the lawsuits – and a lawyer who now owns the business Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques It became popular in the early 1970s. When the founders of Bikram Yoga NYC opened the first Bikram studio in the city on Aug. 7, 1999, few New Yorkers had heard of the hot-yoga practice. Bikram Yoga consists of a set of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. What does that mean for the thousands who swear by the art, and not the artist? Choudhury was instrumental in popularizing yoga in North America. Eighteen years and four studios later, they know… By introducing yoga into Western culture, the exercise spread like wildfire. There are over 500 certified Bikram studios across the globe, and over 3 million people who love to sweat for 90 minutes. All Bikram Yoga Beginning Series classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises. The character of Bikram Choudhury, founder of the yoga practice that bears his name, is dubious, to put it mildly.

Bikram yoga and its charismatic creator, Bikram Choudhury, are the subjects of the latest season of the “30 for 30” podcast series. Bikram Choudhury built hot yoga into a global brand, with trainees willing to pay him thousands.