Hot yoga’s Bikram Choudhury slapped with a sexual harassment law suit

Updated: Mar 22, 2013, 19:33 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The founder of Hot Yoga – Bikram Choudhury – has landed himself in a serious soup, courtesy: his uncontrolled sexual advances towards one of his female students.

Sarah Baughn, 29, has sought legal action against the 67-year-old yoga guru, alleging that he pursued her for years on the basis of the belief that they had a past life connection. As time passed, he tried getting physical with her.

A law suit filed in Los Angeles` superior court reveals that Bikram Choudury denied Baughn, an international championship title she had been awarded and also refused teaching her yoga just because she failed to give in to his sexual advances.

Bikram’s international hot yoga classes have found fans in the likes of presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton, Hollywood celebs Madonna, David Beckham, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga. There are overall 26 series of yoga postures and are performed in rooms heated to over 100F (37.8C).

No wonder Bikram has made a lot of money and the fleet of Rolls Royces along with a plush bungalow in Beverly Hills are a sound proof to the fact.

Bikram Choudhury and his wife Rajashree co-own the empire from their Beverly Hills home and in the past have had clashes with other yoga studios their patent on hot yoga.

According to an international daily, Choudhury told Baughn, "My wife is such a bitch, you have no idea." He further told her, "I am so lonely. I am dying. I can feel myself dying. I will not be alive if someone doesn`t save me." He also said that he shared a past life connection with Baughn which is so strong and meaningful that he still remembered it"

Baughn`s law suit tells how she took up Bikram’s yoga after being encouraged by her yoga teachers. She was studying creative writing when dropped out of college at age 20 to learn yoga full-time. She had to shell out $7,500 to attend a "gruelling" nine-week training course with Bikram.

"Very early in training, Sarah Baughn noticed that Bikram Choudhury`s relationship with young women yoga students was different," the suit says. Young women were chosen to brush the pony-tailed guru`s hair and give him massages, it alleges. On the third night of training Choudhury had one of his students hand Baughn his diamond-studded Rolex watch.

Baughn alleges, in one of the classes Bikram "pushed her down towards the floor after pulling her leg apart and opening her body". The suit alleges that he then pressed his body against her and "began whispering sexual things to her until she collapsed in sobs".