We are pleased to announce that we are changing our name to Still Hot Yoga. For ten of our twelve and a half years in operation we have not had any legal affiliation with Bikram Yoga, Inc. and were, in fact, affiliated in name only, but the time has come to re-brand our business and make this fact more widely known.
As long as we’ve been in operation, Bikram Choudhury has been involved in controversial lawsuits with yoga studios over copyright and trademark issues. We’ve never paid close attention to these conflicts because they had little relevance to or direct effect on our yoga practice or business. But, since early 2013 there have been six lawsuits filed against Bikram Choudhury and Bikram Yoga, Inc, which contain very different, and disturbing, accusations, including sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and rape. We ended our legal affiliation with Bikram Yoga, Inc. in March 2013, just weeks after learning of the first of these lawsuits and at the same time we stopped referring people to the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program.
As a rape survivor this is a very personal issue for me and I have written about it before. BYD has been a supporter of Dekalb Rape Crisis Center and MaleSurvivor. Our mission is to create a safe place where all practitioners feel welcome, comfortable and supported. With estimates that 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 6 men have been sexually assaulted it’s a certainty that this is a personal issue for many of our clients. If even one person has chosen not to practice at our studio because of our name then we have suffered a loss and I deeply regret that. By changing our name we want everyone who practices with us to know that we, and by extension our clients, are not contributing to the defense of Bikram Choudhury and Bikram Yoga, Inc.
Will the Yoga Change?
No. We practice and teach Bikram Yoga because we believe in it. The only thing we’re changing is the name of our business. The class descriptions and schedule will remain the same. We’re proud of what we do at Still Hot Yoga. We have spent years serving our clients by teaching and promoting Bikram Yoga as a safe and effective system for achieving personal development, physical fitness and mental well-being. We believe we have a reputation as a leader in our community for making hot yoga safe and approachable to people from all walks of life and we look forward to continuing our mission for many years to come.
Frankly, this issue has weighed heavily on us for the last two years and it’s a huge relief to finally put it behind us. Best of all, we’re happy and excited about our new name.