Bikram Choudhury was at the forefront of popularizing yoga in North America and around the world. An Indian immigrant with a Beverly Hills base, Choudhury was a born entertainer, known for dressing in nothing more than a black speedo and a Rolex. His teaching style was tough love sprinkled with salty language and punctuated by spontaneous bursts of singing. His followers hailed him for helping them to gain confidence, lose weight, and overcome physical ailments through his specialty of hot yoga. He built a franchise empire with hundreds of Bikram studios around the world. Filmmaker Eva Orner traces Choudhury from his rise in the 1970s to his disgrace in accusations of rape and sexual harassment in more recent years. She taps a vast trove of archival footage that demonstrates Choudhury's charm and offers clues to his dark side. She conducts extensive interviews with his one-time acolytes who now feel betrayed, including yoga devotee Sarah Baughn who brought serious charges against him ...Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
While this isn't the most accomplished documentary, it sure is satisfying to see the repulsive fraud Bikram Chaudhury exposed to a wider audience. It disgusts me that this man has got away with his behaviour as long as he has, and its painful to watch these gullible morons continue to throw money at him even after these incredibly worrying allegations. The final shots in this film make you lose faith in humanity, or at least, middle-class westerners.
As others have pointed out, the documentary pretty much declares him guilty from the offset and doesn't take any other angle into account. This is a very one-sided take on the issue and morally it's probably not the right way to go about it, however damning the evidence appears to be.
But even aside from the sexual abuse allegations, this man is a true charlatan. His franchised yoga is a joke and his swollen ego has been massaged for way too long. Watching even a few minutes footage of him around other people is enough to see that he is a delusional narcissist and sociopath. Hopefully this documentary will encourage people to exercise a little more caution when it comes to handing over their money and social identities to phoney gurus with God-complexes.
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