Bikram Choudhury began learning Hatha Yoga poses in his native India, at the age of three. At five, he began studying with Bishnu Ghosh (Paramahansa Yoganada's brother) and quickly became a yoga champion. At age eleven he was the youngest contestant ever to win the National India Yoga Competition. At 14, Swami Shivananda declared him "Yoga Raj" (King of the Yogis). At age 20, a weightlifting accident crippled Bikram. With the guidance of his guru Bishnu Ghosh, Bikram created his 26 posture series, which restored his health. Combining Eastern discipline and Western medicine, Bikram perfected his comprehensive system suitable for all levels of fitness and health.
Bikram arrived in the United States in 1973 at the invitation of President Nixon and the urging of Shirley Maclaine. He quickly became the foremost yoga teacher in the West as celebrities, athletes, and others began to flock to him. Since that time he has been healing thousands of students at his school in Los Angeles and traveling the world extensively, bringing the benefits of Bikram's Yoga to millions of students worldwide.