Bikram’s wife, Rajashree Choudhury held the title Yoga Champion of India from 1979 to 1984. Rajashree worked alongside Bikram to create the worldwide Yoga College of India. She also developed Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga. Rajashree is the founder of the United States Yoga Federation (USA Yoga) & the International Yoga Sports Federation (IYSF) to promote Yoga Asana as a sport, with a goal of qualifying Yoga as an Olympic Sport to encourage more people to start a yoga practice. Today Rajashree promotes USA Yoga, IYSF, teaches yoga, & lectures around the world.
Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India ™ & creator of Bikram Yoga. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began Yoga at the age of 4 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).
Bikram practiced Yoga at least 4 to 6 hours every day at Ghosh’s College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of 13, he won the National India Yoga Championship. He was undefeated for the following three years & retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.
At 17, 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 & the first to scientifically document Yoga’s ability to cure chronic physical ailments & heal the body.
Bikram was asked by Ghosh to start several Yoga schools in India. The schools were so successful that at Bishnu’s request Bikram traveled to Japan and opened 2 more. He has since brought his curative methods of Yoga therapy around the world.