Born in Calcutta, India in 1946, Bikram began practicing hatha yoga at the age of 3 and by the age of 5 he began to study under his guru, Bishnu Charan Ghosh. Bishnu Ghosh is among the most highly celebrated physical culturists in the world. Ghosh’s brother was Yogananda Paramahansa, author of the famous Autobiography of a Yogi and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, CA. Bikram practiced with Ghosh for up to 6 hours a day at the College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of 13, Bikram became the youngest ever to win the National India Yoga Championships. For three years in a row, Bikram reigned as the undefeated yoga champion, and he was declared King of the Yogis.
Several years later, Bikram suffered an accident while pursuing his interests in weight-lifting, which rendered his knee crippled and immobile. European doctors told Bikram he would never walk again. Bikram returned home to his guru’s care, knowing that if anything would be able to fix his knee, it was yoga. In six months he was walking again.
Inspired by his injury and rehabilitation, Bikram decided to teach yoga full time. Traditionally, the ancient way of teaching yoga is one student at a time. Bikram wondered how he could teach larger groups – classes of people – all at the same time. He started to develop an original sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises…a sequence that was accessible to beginners and beneficial for all; regardless of physical limitations and individual problems. Bishnu Ghosh directed Bikram to open studios in India and Japan. They were so successful that he moved to the U.S. in 1973 to bring the yoga into western culture. At that point, the yoga was becomming immensely popular and continued to grow. Bikram started his Teacher Training course in 1994 to bring the yoga to an international level. Today, with over 500 studios worldwide and 4,000+ certified Bikram Yoga Teachers, Bikram is realizing his dream of bringing health, vitality and happiness to the world.