Yogiraj 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).
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.
At seventeen, an injury to his knee during a weight-lifting accident brought the prediction from leading European 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 totally recovered. 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 Choudhury first developed the Sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises in India in order to treat health problems for many people at once. He recognized the therapeutic value of Hatha Yoga for common health problems, but did not have enough time in the day to successfully treat each person, as there are 84 original postures one could learn. Through resilient research, Bikram calculated that it took these specific 26 postures to systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and they all work together in synergy, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits. The Sequence flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of the body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system.
Learn more in our Frequently Asked Bikram Yoga Questions section.