Transcript for Controversial Bikram Yoga Guru Likes the Heat
Hilliard illnesses live longer be even better in -- just -- doing yoga. Well it certainly seems like a tall order -- one world famous guru claims his special brand of hot yoga can do all of that. And more he's built a multimillion dollar empire with thousands of devote ten days but now he is coming under fire for methods critics call. Less than enlightened here's ABC's David Wright. Guy and a Speedo has literally made millions. Off the sweat. -- yeah. Spectrum -- agree pioneered hot yoga this. 26 -- performed an excruciating 105 degree why that he is that a simple. You predict a piece of Steve. -- -- blacks and -- in Entertainment Tonight limited in what the first thing -- -- the department count heated up but. It's eastern mind over body disciplined. -- western obsession with fitness booming business. Big groom these names -- trademark his routine copyrighted. Programs -- college of India is franchise just like McDonald's. All these hard body disciples. Are hoping to become -- -- yoga teachers why do you think Americans are. So fascinated by yoga that seems like everywhere you go -- -- -- because -- me. He is not a modest man his detractors say he is corrupted you go with too much commercialism and he's trying to control. An -- And a tendency to bulldoze others and it you don't want to get done becomes -- -- because he can make your life a living hell. Group started off in this country forty years ago in Beverly Hills as a sort of -- to the stars. Among them Michael Jackson Shirley MacLaine and Martin Sheen is. -- -- Gordon -- you built an empire and when half a billion people has been -- -- directly indirectly. Prom -- crummy old I don't know half a billion half -- billion people. -- -- -- Vikram has certainly it. He has a warehouse of luxury cars and I -- Bit does make the won't -- we discussed. His hobby is restoring them perfecting them the same way he protects people's bodies with his yoga. Exactly the way you -- -- that got the same -- I didn't human what. -- crisis that is yoga will just improve your body and invigorate your sex life he claims it saves lives IQ of patient. Absolutely normal 98%. -- was -- tended to me it's Monday that I send him back. That new heart like -- -- -- in fairness I was willing to try it okay not exactly reaching Nirvana. Light headed enough to want more -- -- quote -- survive on the hunt happened he should do this you. This American guru now has uniquely American problems forcing him to defend his lucrative yoga practice in court and many good way. Make -- chrome yoga. Copyright. Trademark franchising. Packed and the Justice Department and -- about him and we protect you make. Yoga to the people is one of four groups -- has sued for copyright infringement. The rival school was founded by -- former protege -- -- Lucio that's him in the -- standing behind Vikram and you say -- those -- -- definite. He is my -- and I'd send him. -- -- -- -- -- Lucio says the very idea of -- -- a 5000. Year old Hindu discipline. He is absurd. If you look at Arnold Schwarzenegger -- -- bench presses six -- seven squads -- Arnold's work out nobody can go and show that -- teach that without my permission. That's crazy thing. After our interviews but before the case went to trial the two men abruptly settled. Just last month another yoga school run by former Vikram students convinced a judge that -- sequence of poses is not copyright -- the judge ruled that evil nation -- cannot be held liable for copyright infringement. -- and his legal team planned to appeal meanwhile they have another case -- brought by this woman pandora William. I -- -- I wanted to share. What -- have done for me she spent about 111000. Dollars to attend his teacher training course in 2010. It was a complete. -- her mind -- Horrible experience. She was offended by some of the things she says -- percent. Yeah his banter during classes is often sexually charged and off color. Six. Helps distract people threw ninety minutes of body bending -- A -- bitches and whores they're here for one thing to -- and lakes and the -- Who is saying this in front of the whole class of people -- in front of bonded us -- -- trainees what happened when your -- -- walked up to him and -- had become you're breaking my heart just an attempt Paris. Why are you preaching hate when there's so much hatred already in this world so -- resurrection. We'd also love here you. -- get out get this black bitch out of -- she's -- cancer. Williams was kicked out and was never given her money back. Her case seeking unspecified damages is scheduled to go to trial in March. -- declined a request talk about the case on camera but ABC news obtained video of his deposition. During the explains training -- -- you repeatedly referred to women as bitches correct but what I don't know. Have you ever refer to -- pitches in any of your training. -- in India claims Williams approached him in a threatening manner or were you fearful of your physical safety what do mean by fearful. Did you think she was going to hurt you physically yes yes he categorically rejects -- accusations. Should not be allowed to. Spew so much hatred in our society and hide behind. You'll go. Which is so beautiful and so pure and its -- you to help us do you think -- -- spiritual person. Now he's you can buy money only. And in my life never cheat and -- heart and honesty. I'm the most -- each other men didn't you ever -- in New York. But to date you unknown -- indicated Smart intelligent wise expedience enough. To understand. For an. More B one of these days into practice become -- Even understand it maybe so -- -- not to. An American guru on the hot seat I'm David Wright for Nightline in Beverly Hills.
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