Controversial Bikram yoga founder’s planned Vancouver workshops raising flags
The founder of a multimillion-dollar yoga empire, who has been the subject of numerous sexual misconduct allegations and civil suits in the U.S., is returning to Vancouver next month.
Bikram Choudhury’s classes, scheduled for the week of Feb. 20 at the JW Marriott Parq Hotel, are raising concerns among some people in Vancouver’s yoga community.
Jill Lawler, a Vancouver woman who is involved in a lawsuit against Choudhury accusing him of sexual assault, took to social media this week urging people not to attend his upcoming workshop.
Choudhury has denied the sexual assault allegations against him. His return to teaching in the city represents a “rebirth” of sorts, said Brad Colwell of the Canada Yoga Sports Federation, the group behind the event.
“The classes Bikram will be teaching here are the first he’ll have taught since the pandemic,” he said. “Enough time has passed since the accusations were made that it‘s water under the bridge now.”