New Study Of Bikram Yoga’s Health Effects Funded By Founder Bikram Choudhury. Hmmm.


A study at Colorado State University is looking at the health effects of Bikram yoga, a form of yoga in which practitioners follow a prescribed set of 26 poses in a room heated to 105 degrees. The sketchy thing? The majority of the funding for the study comes from the founder of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury.

I shouldn’t be surprised: Bikram Choudhury is becoming increasingly-notorious for his shady moves, like lawsuits, yoga supplements and overall doucheyness. It makes sense that he would fund a study in which “people interviewed only had good things to say about Bikram yoga and professed its benefits.”

But Brian Tracy, the CSU professor who is heading up the study, says that “agreements on intellectual freedom were signed that don’t bond the research results to the funding.” Hmmm. Well, ok.

Apparently, no one else is studying or has studied the specific effects of Bikram yoga. According to CSU’s student newspaper, selected participants are experienced practitioners who take SOMAX fitness tests, and a DEXA body composition scans to determine their fitness levels. They’re paid $30. 75% of the funding for the study comes from The Bikram Yoga College of India and the rest comes from the Pure Action Foundation, an organization I can’t seem to find any information about, including a website.

Call me crazy, but it just doesn’t seem right to me that the inventor of something should provide money to an institution to find the study of that same something. It’s nothing new, of course (manufacturers do it all the time for their products, for example), but regardless, information like this only serves to deter me from practicing Bikram, which I bet is not really the goal Bikram Choudhury is trying to achieve.

I’ve got nothing against the actual physical practice of Bikram yoga, which I’m sure can give you many of the health benefits the study says it does (greater flexibility, increased strength, better balance and cardiovascular health improvement). But personally, I have no desire to practice this controversial form of yoga. From the cult-y aspects to the shady research funding, to the tell-all book, I think I’ll stick with hot yoga that’s not branded “Bikram.”

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • The author you poorly sourced

      So Chevy, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others should pull their research funding from universities if the research is in the same field? Sounds like the way to better education, I think you’re really onto something, one more opinion article to fix the world please! Also, source things properly next time; it appeared as though you spent a few hours of your time at the study, doing research, and interviewing people, when really you plagarized my work nearly word for word and then stuck two opinion paragraphs in.

      • Carrie Murphy

        Sorry you’re unhappy, author. All direct quotes I took from your article were quoted and all other information was paraphrased. And I actually have three, not two “opinion paragraphs.” :) I didn’t say anything about any other research foundations or grants, I merely said that personally, I find this kind of research funding a bit sketchy, especially in light of what else I know about Bikram Choudhury and his public persona. Finding out that Bikram sources his own funding makes me less likely to practice Bikram. That’s my personal opinion that I came to after reading your article.

    • The original author

      This is blatant plagarism. And all you had to do was say according to an article from the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the publication where I got half of the article.

      After everytime you reference my work you need to acknowledge my article as the source. hyperlinking my article, without even mentioning it in the first paragraph does not count. You made all these statements from my article appear as though they were your original work which is offending me more and more when I think about the work I did on a frigid morning for this article.

      You obviously never learned to source properly, you see every bit of information you obtained from my article is plagarized or you bastardize the information, So I’d settle for 1 or 3 things. 1, Go to school and learn how to write, 2. Source properly, 3. Stop writing.

      • a friendly third party

        I’d suggest you drop out of journalism school b/c you’re clearly not learning very much there.

    • qtipgoddess

      You can find the Pure Action Foundation website at
      Try looking a little harder, or at all before you make claims like that. Have you ever actually tried a Bikram yoga?