Friday, July 18, 2008


So, I just spoke to Bikram.

That’s right, Bikram Choudhury, creator and founder of Bikram yoga. The particular type of yoga that I'm addicted to. So, I guess I’m saying I just spoke to my dealer, but not actually MY dealer, the head dealer, the big cheese, the head of the entire cartel.

I spoke with him on the phone. The owner of the yoga studio I go to here in San Diego (I guess he is actually my dealer) called him for me, made the introduction and told him why I wanted to speak to him. (Okay, if you must know, it’s for an upcoming article about the fact that his world teacher training center is currently based in Acapulco, Mexico.)

I asked just two questions, but he answered them, and answered them well. And if I put this together with the day this past February that he was lecturing here in San Diego and stopped for a few moments three feet from my seat, you could say I’ve almost had a conversation with him.

I’m feeling giddy.

Some people I know (ahem), and plenty of other people, think he’s a nut. But I don’t. I think he’s some kind of small Indian genius. A very humorous small Indian genius.

His sequence of Hatha yoga postures has changed my life. I know, I know, it sounds cliché and dramatic. But it’s true. I’m different in myriad ways due to Bikram yoga. My acupuncturist, who I love and think is also some kind of genius, has suggested that most people eventually move on from Bikram yoga. I don’t think I will.

I think I may add to my Bikram’s practice; there are lots of other great yoga teachers and styles out there, but Bikram is where I started, and I don’t think I’ll ever abandon it.

It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s in a word two words: bad ass.

Isn't he a bad ass? (And I admit, he doesn't look so small is this photo)

Bikram yoga is not well liked, or perhaps I should say rather that it’s not completely accepted, by the larger yoga community, although I don’t know exactly why. I guess it’s in part due to Bikram himself. He’s controversial. He drives Bentlys around Beverly Hills and sues people who try to rip off his yoga sequence; not very yoga-like, or so some think.

But he’s been doing yoga since he was 3, and at the age of 13, Bikram became the youngest contestant ever to win the National India Yoga Competition and was undefeated for the next three years. His guru was Bishnu Gosh, younger brother of Paramahansa Yoganada, who wrote the well known book , “Autobiography of a Yogi.” This, to me, is a pretty impressive yoga resume, but people can, and will, think what they like.

Anyway, I’m not trying to convert anyone to Bikram yoga via this post. I just wanted to brag to you all about my exciting phone conversation and to let you know that no matter how crazy you think I am, I plan to do “hot yoga” until I’m an old, old woman.

And by then I'm hoping I’ll be able to do this:


Anonymous said...

And I'm sure you'll do it with a smile even brighter than hers!

Congrats on the celebrity encounter with your hero!

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this Beth. You have attained Nirvana, I think. Or at least had a conversation with it. Him. Your small Indian genius yogi boyfriend. Congrats!

Rita said...

How cool!

I need to start some yoga. It was actually recommended by name by my doctor. I was very into tae kwon do, then we moved then there was a pregnancy followed by a bunch of abdominal hernias and repairs (and torn mesh and repairs) and finally after all was said and done, I asked, "So, can I go back to tae kwon do?"

I was told that since it was TKD that tore the mesh out of the muscle after the first operation, no, I should not, not now, maybe not ever. Then I was told, "Hmmm, have you thought about yoga?"

I hadn't. Ever. But, now I am. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm planning on looking for a studio in the fall, and now I know who to go to with my questions--YOU (get it, 'cause you're YOU, buy you're also the YOU in Me and You and Ellie).

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Rita, I think you mean, How hot! And I do get the You thing. (Aren't you glad we're not doing that anymore?)

You should definitely check out some yoga, I bet there's even a Bikram studio near you!