Touted as being good for both the body and mind, yoga is a form of ancient exercise and meditation that has been practiced for centuries. In more recent years, modern yoga practitioners have attempted to elevate the practice to be more physically challenging. Among these yoga gurus is a man known as Bikram Choudhury whose yoga practice bears his name.
Known for producing sleek bodies and buckets of sweat, the Birkram name may soon be known for very different and less attractive reasons. A former employee of one of Bikram's yoga schools recently filed a lawsuit against its founder accusing Choudhury of sexual assault, rape, harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
According to the lawsuit recently filed by the former employee and civil rights attorney, Choudhury routinely made disparaging comments about women, gays and blacks. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Choudhury sexually assaulted female students and employees and there were even rumors of rape.
Upon raising concerns related to those actions witnessed firsthand and those rumored to have taken place, the former employee was told "not to look into it any further". She was eventually forced to resign by Choudhury who then went on to threaten the former employee with both her deportation and that of her eight-year-old daughter.
Two additional lawsuits involving allegations of sexual assault and rape were recently filed against Choudhury. Neither the yoga school at which the former employee worked or Choudhury have responded to the lawsuit or damning accusations.
Texas employees who have either witnessed or been the victim of harassing or discriminatory behavior by a supervisor or employer would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney. In many cases, taking legal action helps ensure such behaviors stop while also bringing those accused of the offensive actions to justice.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Bikram Yoga Founder Blasted For Alleged Rape, Sexual Harassment And Racism In Explosive Lawsuit," Eleazar David Melendez, Aug. 5, 2013