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Bikram Yoga Guru Files For Bankruptcy Following Sexual Assault Accusations

Bikram Choundhury seek

Bikram Yoga Guru Files For Bankruptcy Following Sexual Assault Accusations Wikipedia

Bikram Choudhury Yoga, the studio that popularised doing yoga in sauna heat has filed for bankruptcy.

Founder Bikram Choudhury, who built a worldwide following with classes of 26 yoga postures in rooms heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6degC), has been accused of sexual assault by his yoga practitioners, students, instructors and teacher trainees.

The Simi Valley, California-based company said in a bankruptcy court filing on Thursday in the Central District of California that its liabilities were worth up to $US50 million ($A70 million).

It listed assets of up to $US1 million ($A1.4 million), suggesting that its largest creditors - women who are owed money for court judgements awarded against Choudhury - will not be paid in full.

They include Miki Jaffa Bodden, who alleged that Choudhury repeatedly subjected her to vulgar sexual gestures and offensive comments about women and minority groups.

Petra Starke, who moved from her job as lawyer in the Obama White House to chief executive of the Bikram Yoga College of India in 2013, complained of wrongful dismissal, sexually inappropriate conduct and "racist tirades".

A warrant for Choudhury's arrest was issued in May.

The bankruptcy filing, which included affiliates Bikram Inc and Bikram Yoga College of India, follows heightened social awareness over sexual misconduct in the wake of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis CK.