LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Bikram Choudhury, the controversial hot yoga guru who earlier this year was ordered by a judge to pay $7.5 million in punitive damages to his former attorney after allegations of sexual harassment, has closed his doors in the U.S. and is headed for Mumbai.
Choudhury has opened a new yoga center in the suburbs of India’s most populous city.
“Bikram closed his international headquarters and flagship studio in Los Angeles following the verdict in the case and has moved his teacher training to a resort in India at Aamby Valley. In the U.S., we understand his teacher training numbers are significantly down, with less than 50 paid attendees,” said Meenakshi Jaffa-Bodden, the attorney who won the lawsuit against him.
It was Mandeep Sandhu, a student from Mumbai, whose testimony trapped Choudhury in the sexual harassment case.
Sandhu herself is now conducting her own yoga classes in Mumbai.
“It is a yoga guru’s responsibility to maintain a pure and peaceful relationship with his students. When I went for his teacher’s training in Las Vegas in 2009, I already had a degree in yoga. I joined him to improve my knowledge. Those teachers in the city who only teach his signature 26 poses, might be affected. I have nothing to fear, as I combine power, ashtanga, and pranayama in my own style of hot yoga,” she said.
Additionally, he is planning to establish a wellness center that will provide packages with 3-4 nights and 6-7 nights for people who want to rejuvenate, lose weight and improve their health. Talks have begun about opening a second center in Mumbai, as well — the expansion activities could very well effect the activities of other yoga gurus in the city, considering the massive celebrity and fame Choudhury has attained.