How Much Did Bikram Choudhury's Wife Know? What Netflix's Documentary Doesn't Tell You

Netflix's Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator delves deep into the allegations against Bikram Yoga (a specific type of hot yoga) founder Bikram Choudhury, who has been accused of sexual assault and rape by six women since 2013. (The disgraced yogi has denied all allegations against him, and he continues to teach hot yoga classes around the world.) But as thorough as the documentary is, the question of who is Bikram's ex-wife, Rajashree Choudhury remains largely unexplored. Rajashree co-founded Bikram Yoga's Teacher Training program in 1994 - the same program that her ex-husband allegedly used to prey on his female students.

However, since filing her divorce from Bikram in 2015, the founder of the United States Yoga Federation and the International Yoga Sports Federation has largely stayed out of the conversation surrounding her husband's alleged misdeeds. The documentary's director Eva Orner recently told The Guardian that she reached out to both Bikram and Rajashree for interviews, but they declined. The director said of Rajashree: "She's very complicit." But to date, no allegations have been made about the yogi's ex-wife.

Born in Calcutta, Rajashree has been practicing yoga since she was a child. She met Bikram during a yoga competition in India, and the pair were married in 1984, when she was 19 (her ex-husband is 19 years older than her). Right from the start, Rajashree established that she was nothing like her flashy husband: she's known for being soft-spoken and for her philanthropy, as opposed to her ex-husband, who famously yells insults at students and boasts about his lavish lifestyle. The IYSF founder has focused on building her own career separate from Bikram's in recent years, and she's now best known for her philanthropic work.

Per her website, Rajashree is a certified yoga therapist who works with incarcerated youth through Uprising Yoga, and with veterans via a program called Team Red White and Blue. Her nonprofit work also extends to supporting the Parikrma Foundation, an organization that educates underprivileged children in India.

At the same time, she was instrumental in building the Bikram Yoga brand. Within 10 years of marrying Bikram, she became vice-president of the company, and helped build the teaching program that led to the franchise flourishing across the United States. Additionally, she also taught classes during the nine-week teaching sessions. But beyond filing for divorce, Rajashree hasn't made a statement about the allegations against her ex-husband. The closest she came to a comment was in 2014, when The Telegraph reported that she said she and Bikram largely lived separate lives. "On an average, we are together 10 days a month at our Beverly Hills residence and our headquarters," she said at the time.

Today, Rajashree continues to live and work in the United States. She splits her time between working with charities, particularly those that benefit women and children, teaching yoga classes and seminars, and writing. She's also a mother to her two grown children: son Anurag Choudhury and daughter Laju Choudhury. Whatever her thoughts on the Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator documentary are, she's not sharing them with the public.



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