The evolution of Bikram yoga: evolation yoga working to protect the hot yoga community
Santa Barbara, California March 10, 2014 Business News(PRLEAP.COM) In the midst of the current controversy surrounding Bikram Choudhury, one international collective of yoga studios and experienced teachers is bringing the hot yoga community together. Since evolation yoga was unsuccessfully sued by Bikram in 2012 (Case No. 2:11-cv-5506-ODW(SSx)) the founders Mark Drost and Zefea Samson-Drost have increased their efforts to bring the hot yoga community together.
They say: "When we work together to move this community forward we collectively go to new heights. All the fear and abuse will become a distant memory. There is nothing Bikram can do to hold us back any more. We have broken free of his tyranny." When studios become part of the evolation collective there is strength and safety in numbers. Evolation have already taken Bikram on in court and won. Now they will be there to support other studios against legal threats they face from his disintegrating world. Evolation is in a perfect position to help shield the hot yoga community from Bikram's anger and legal dysfunction.
While Mark worked closely with Bikram from 2002 - 2008, he saw a steady decline in the training experience. This decline was mainly due to Bikram's erratic behavior. During that time Mark was experiencing up close and personal much of what is coming out today. He could not in good conscience continue down a collective path while being exposed to the steady stream of abuse of the people he was supposed to be helping. The couple left the Bikram community in order to provide a more comprehensive, inclusive and intimate training experience for students who want to become teachers of the hot yoga Primary Series.
Mark and Zefea still have much respect for their teacher; even after the lawsuit that was as abusive as all of the other behavior. They proved in that case that there is no copyright on the sequence and everybody in the world is welcome to teach it in any way that they please. Whatever happens following the new charges that Bikram faces there will be a fallout for everyone associated with him directly. Evolation offers the same foundation, the same class and the same lineage without the association. They are an important force for evolving the Bikram community.
ABC Nightline 02/25: Bikram Yoga Founder Accused of Sexual Assault:
YogaLunchbox: How Bikram Yoga Evolved into Evolation Yoga - [Video Interview]
Evolation Press Release, 2012:
Court Summary (Case No. 2:11-cv-5506-ODW(SSx)):
The Evolation Oasis
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