Yoga Guru Moves into the Limelight in Recent Sexual Harassment Case
Bikram Choudhury is well-known in the yoga world for teaching yoga sequences in a
105 degree temperature environment. Currently, he is sitting in the hot seat for
alleged sexual harassment. Shirley McClain was one of his first yoga students in the
1970’s and since that time he has built his yoga business into a million dollar empire,
charging students $25 a session.
According to an article in the New York Times, one of his yoga students, Sarah
Baughn, who also is a yoga teacher and international competitor, has filed sexual
harassment charges against Bikram. She alleges that he repeatedly made sexual
advances toward her, pressed his body against hers and whispered sexual comments
into her ear during yoga training, ordered her to kiss him in front of other trainees
and assaulted her in a hotel room during teacher training in Acapulco, Mexico. She
rejected all of his advances.
Sarah left her college education to pursue a career in yoga, studying under Bikram.
She put all her savings designated for education into that study. The lawsuit she filed
lists accusations of discrimination, sexual harassment and character defamation. She
is seeking compensation for damages to her professional career and also named
Bikram’s wife in the lawsuit. His wife manages the business and teacher training
Sexual harassment in a work, training or educational environment is illegal. If you are
the victim of sexual harassment, find out how to protect your rights and discuss your
situation with a New York employment lawyer.