Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury is the founder of The Yoga College of India, which is known worldwide. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began practising yoga at the age of four with India's most-renowned physical culturist at that time, Bishnu Ghosh. Ghosh is the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, who is the author of the popular yoga book, ‘The Autobiography of a Yogi’. Ghosh is also the founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Bikram practiced yoga at least four to six hours every day at Ghosh's College of Physical Education located in Calcutta, India. At the age of thirteen, he won the 1st place award in the National India Yoga Championship. He held the 1st place title for the next three years and then retired as the undisputed ‘India National Yoga Champion’.
At the age of seventeen, Bikram suffered a knee injury during a weight-lifting exercise. After suffering this injury, renowned European doctors informed Bikram that he would not walk again. After receiving this devastating medical diagnosis, Bikram refused to surrender. He returned to Bishnu Ghosh's Physical Education school, seeking advice. He had absolute confidence in Ghosh and believed that if anyone could repair his damaged knee, it would indeed be this man. Six months later, his knee had completely healed, after practising yoga under the guidance of Ghosh. As previously stated, Ghosh was a celebrated physical culturist and became the first person to ‘scientifically’ document yoga's ability to cure chronic physical ailments and heal the body. Ghosh applied the scientific principles of observation, experimentation and deduction to yoga postures. This scientific approach brought a deeper understanding of the therapeutic benefits of a yoga practice, to the general public.
Soon after, Bikram was asked by Ghosh to open several yoga schools in India, and asked to follow the scientific principles as they applied to a yoga practice, which were taught to him by Ghosh. The yoga schools were extremely successful and at Ghosh's request Bikram traveled to Japan and opened two more yoga studios. These Japanese yoga studios were also successful. Since then Bikram has expanded his curative methods of yoga therapy and spread this yoga around the world.