Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
Director: Eva Orner
Date Created: 2019-11-20 00:00
The wildness of the past couple of years (2020 most especially) and the blurring lines between fact and fiction reminded me of a vital quote in the bible.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
It opened my eyes to the fact that we are actively and currently and always amongst the invisible war of good and evil.
So then, I was led down the Youtube rabbit hole in search of clarity on how evil powers disguise themselves as good and I came across this video that exposed the pagan foundations of yoga.
This video pretty much confirmed everything my mother always told me about yoga. It’s a spiritual act and it’s not of God. This is why you listen to your parents. Especially if they grew up in an African culture where spirituality is more evident.
Basically, yoga is a physical worship of Hindu gods and I used to dabble in it from time to time to try to increase my flexibility. But knowing what I know now, I won’t be participating in it anymore.
Armed with new knowledge, I was ready to watch this documentary of a twisted yoga guru titled: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator is a documentary that examines the gradual fall of formerly esteemed Yogi and Hot Yoga founder, Bikram Choudhury.
This article includes some discussion of sexual assault and rape. Reader’s discretion is advised.
13 Spiritual Lessons From the Documentary About Bikram Yoga
1. Names are Powerful
In the documentary, Bikram says that his name means “leech.” That he’ll suck the blood of his class even after they die… and everyone took his questionable, demonic quotes as tough love, dark humor.
Google says that the name Bikram means “prowess” which is very befitting for a predator.
Bikram was described as a lion, a powerful force yet with an innocent, adorable way about him. He attracts his prey with his charisma before ultimately destroying them.
Another thing that struck me was when Bikram was first introduced to his yogi, he said that his yogi asked for his name. Once he told the yogi his name, the yogi’s response was, “Wow. Come every day here. I will teach you more.”
That yoga teacher sensed the prowess, the leech, the powerful force within him and I would argue that he knew that Bikram would be the one to pioneer his yoga teachings around the world. I think that the yogi WANTED Bikram to take his teachings and evangelize them.
Be fruitful and multiply…
I don’t think Yogi Ghosh would consider it as a copyright infringement like one of his other students was arguing.
Names are more powerful than we realize. Even God had to change some people’s names in the Bible because it interfered with the person’s destiny.
Names are powerful indicators of destiny.
2. Evil Is Not Always Hidden
Bikram doesn’t hide that he is demonic. He says that he’s the most spiritual man. He says that he sells the truth. No one is purer than him. He doesn’t sleep.
He’s given himself up to whatever demons control him and he doesn’t even hide it.
He says people have come to his class to kill themselves. Telling them they will die just like he said he’ll suck their blood.
But like I mentioned before, people are so willing to overlook the questionable things he says and does because at the end of the day, he fills a void in them and he makes them feel good.
3. There’s May Be Spiritual Influence in Melodies, Movies, and Massages
Now, this is a topic that requires its own investigation but I just wanted to make note of the fact that Bikram sang at the end of his classes and his voice was so soothing and sweet to people.
Satan was a minister of music and the music industry definitely has demonic influences.
Also, I found it interesting how Bikram often tried his sexual moves while watching Bollywood movies. Was there something about the atmosphere that these movies created?
Finally, massages. The ultimate predator move. Jeffrey Epstein used the same tactic to coerce underage girls into sexually engaging with him.
The ultimate question I have is: Is there actually spiritual energy laced within the everyday activities and art that we find harmless?
4. Fewer Clothes Often lead to Greater Sensuality
Why? Why oh why??? Did Bikram INSIST???? On wearing the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM of clothing???
Like —- Huh??
In all of his teacher trainings and classes, there was a lot of skin and tight clothing and I don’t think it necessarily helps movement. Loose clothing allows the body to breathe a little more, don’t they? I’ve always felt more comfortable in workout sweats as opposed to tights but maybe that’s just me.
One of the interviewees said that during the hot yoga teacher training, week 5 was also known as sex week. She said that all of the sweaty, attractive, half-naked, aspiring yoga instructors crammed in a hot room created a heavily sexually charged atmosphere.
So when I see Bikram consistently wear a barely-there speedo, I think about his intentions. What is it within him that insists on wearing as little clothing as possible?
Lust? Sensuality? You shall know them by their fruits.
5. Ungodly Healing Has a Price
People said that once they completed a class with Bikram, their physical ailments went away. They were healed, invigorated, and hooked on the drug of Bikram yoga.
That sounds like a good thing, right? How can someone that does good for people, makes people feel good, and heals their bodies, end up being so bad?
Why does alcohol make you feel so good and light and free in the moment but then leave you with an excruciating hangover?
Why do sexually immoral acts feel exciting at the moment but then leave you with shame?
If it doesn’t feel good, if it’s not enticing, then no one’s going to buy in. Period.
You’ve got to sugar-coat the destruction. Wrap the poison in beautiful packaging.
Evil spirits have powers too. They are good at making you feel good. They’re attractive and appeal to your physical desires. Even Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world not because he was bluffing but because Satan really does have that power. We gave it to him in the Garden of Eden.
But the difference between the power of Satan and the power of God is that:
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
The healing of God doesn’t come with a price. It doesn’t claim your soul or cause withdrawal. It doesn’t fill you with insatiable greed or blur the lines between right and wrong.
We just keep looking for healing on our terms and in all the wrong places.
6. Spirits Need Permission to Enter
I have a theory:
Spirits are not allowed to enter your body without permission.
Even Jesus says I stand by the door and knock (Revelation 3:20). He doesn’t just bust down the door to your heart and take over. He’s a gentleman. He’s given us free will.
The same goes for evil spirits. They can’t come in unless invited, or… unless they find a window cracked open, or a door unlocked since the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). They don’t adhere to the rules.
So, I believe that drugs, yoga, meditation, etc. weaken your defenses and create open entrances for spirits that are not of God. It invites wayward spirits whether you realize you were sending an invitation or not. It creates cracks in your mental and spiritual barriers that can allow intruders to sneak in and use you for their evil wills before ultimately destroying you.
When I think about Bikram as an alleged rapist, I think he harbors a spirit of thievery. The same spirit that entered Bikram through his brokenness seeks to enter through others’ brokenness using Bikram as the host.
This spirit demands entrance into areas to which he’s been denied access. That’s why he doesn’t consider what he’s doing as wrong because as his own personal god, everything he wants is his. You can’t steal what is yours.
Rape is so blatantly and universally understood as wrong because it breaks a universal law. You can only enter where you are invited. The host has to welcome you into their home otherwise, you’re an intruder.
7. There is Opportunity in Brokenness
Bikram had a very charismatic personality and appealed strongly to the flesh. He saw something in people often and hand-picked favorites which made me wonder, what is he seeing spiritually that makes him choose certain people as favorites?
I would say the common thread is broken people.
Broken people are often the ones being targeted for manipulation and coercion.
Think about it – broken people are easy to enter. Easy to infiltrate.
But brokenness also is the perfect time to invite Jesus in.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 ESV
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
There are good and bad opportunities within the brokenness.
8. Self-Worship Leads to Disappointment
Yoga has a sense of self-healing through personal accomplishment.
People could see their sweat as they contorted in difficult shapes, they could feel their flexibility increasing with every session, and they could see their bodies strengthening.
Either they worshipped themselves or worshipped Bikram. Either way, they were putting their trust and reliance on man and not God.
Namaste means ‘the divine in me bows to the divine in you.”
So, we become gods in this scenario.
I also looked into a popular pose which was my favorite because it was so easy, savasana.
Apparently, the meaning behind it is to practice dying…
If that is not the biggest red flag I’ve ever heard of —– !!!!!
And you could see by the end of the documentary that Bikram’s followers were upset that their way of life was no longer blameless. A shadow was cast on a practice that played a massive role in their lives.
It seemed as though that they were more upset with the victims who actually stepped forward and said something than with Bikram because insulting Bikram was in some way insulting themselves since they had adopted Bikram as a huge part of themselves.
It was a personal attack against the god that lived within them. And honestly, humans make pretty unreliable. disappointing gods, as exemplified by Bikrams’s downfall.
9. Spiritual Loyalty Isn’t Logical
I was intrigued by the accounts of the women who were sexually abused by Bikram. They both said that after he had released them, they still wished him goodnight.
This odd loyalty to their teacher, their guru, their rapist.
Definitely, some spiritual confusion happened where the women knew what was happening was wrong, yet, a part of them couldn’t oppose Bikram. Still honored him. Bowed to him. Couldn’t denounce him until something else filled his place in their souls.
10. Children Awaken Innocence
I watched part of the Michael Jackson documentary where two men came out and said that they were sexually abused by Michael Jackson as children.
The catalyst for one of the men opening up about his story was the birth of his son. That’s when he was finally able to accept that what happened to him was wrong and that he couldn’t bear the thought of the same thing happening to his child.
In this documentary too, the driving force for one of the women to open up about Bikram’s sexual abuse was the birth of her daughter. That’s when she realized that she would never want her daughter to go through what she went through.
The pure love for her daughter replaced her loyalty to Bikram. It awakened her from his spell and the wayward underlying of the yoga that she devoted her life’s work to.
All open spaces need to be filled. It’s not just spiritual, it’s scientific. Evil will not leave unless there is good to replace it and where there is light there is no darkness.
11. Bikram Will Never Be Satisfied
*cue “Satisfied” from the Hamilton soundtrack* He will never be satisfi–ied…
But really —
Why after the money, the fame, the house, the car, the wife, the kids, getting the best of everything that this world has to offer, why was it still not enough for Bikram?
If Bikram can admit that he doesn’t need to force someone to have sex with him, and that women are throwing themselves all over him, then why did he still have sex with “the few” that were unwilling?
If this man is supposed to be the poster child for healing, restorative yoga that cures all diseases, even emotional problems, why couldn’t he cure his insatiability, his greed, his impatience, and fury?
Why do people still follow this man’s example? Attend his teacher trainings? Carry on the content of his labor under the disguise of a new name? You can change the name all you want but profiting off of this man’s work just proves that you are his protegee whether the yoga is called Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga.
Are they expecting a different outcome than Bikram? If Bikram still wasn’t satisfied, what makes you think that you’ll find satisfaction in yoga?
12. Illogical Spiritual Loyalty Continues
Seeing the yoga instructor at the end who said that the only reason that she agreed to do this documentary was so that she could spread awareness of Bikram yoga and invite people to try it because it really works — that was terrifying.
She completely overlooks the severity of Bikram’s shortcomings.
And then the man who said that watching Bikram being accused of sexual predation was like watching his father being publically crucified — I would not be surprised if that man is still teaching Bikram yoga. He mentioned the struggle of two voices, one telling him that Bikram was wrong and another telling him that Bikram’s accusers were wrong.
They’ve all fallen under Bikram’s powers. They harbor his spiritual influence and have built their lives so firmly on his teachings that leaving that lifestyle would dismantle everything that they’d built.
Maybe they should have children…
13. Worldly Justice Can be Quite Weak
Satan rules this earth. He can manipulate and twist things so that the justice of this world doesn’t really impact the people that he empowers.
The fact that Bikram is still out and about doing his yoga trainings, even as a convicted sexual predator, blows my mind. People are truly brainwashed by him.
But believe me, he’s going to have to come face to face with his sins someday. The battle isn’t over.
There’s literally so much to discuss on this subject but I just wanted to give a snapshot of the different aspects of this documentary that stood out to me. This documentary about Bikram Yoga is a great breeding ground for learning something new and seeing what life lessons can be derived from that.
Structure-wise, I thought this film was incredibly well done. Starting out by making the audience understand Bikram’s appeal, his attractive energy, and supernatural qualities before revealing his downfall, the lie that his life was, and ultimately reminding me that in documentaries, there usually isn’t a happily ever after. The bad guy is not always caught and justice doesn’t always prevail in our time frame.
But oh, I know that everything that is in the dark will soon be brought to light.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV
Talk to me in the comments — What are your takeaways from Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator?
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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,