Bikram Choudhury in 2007. Photo by yanivnord/Creative Commons

The founder of Bikram Yoga remained at large Thursday, one day after a Los Angeles  judge issued a warrant for his arrest for failing to pay a $6.47 million judgment against him.

The judgment against Bikram Choudhury stemmed from a wrongful- termination lawsuit filed by Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, a former legal adviser for the guru of “hot yoga,” a technique in which sessions are conducted in temperatures that often are above 100 degrees.

Jafa-Bodden’s attorney, Aaron Osten, said he had not heard of any developments in the matter since Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Choudhury. Moreton’s courtroom clerk said he also was unaware of any arrest of Choudhury.

Jafa-Bodden began working for Choudhury in March 2011 and said she initially received praise for her work. But she said that after she began investigating lawsuits against the company, including one by a black employee complaining of discrimination, she began to experience a backlash from Choudhury.

Jafa-Bodden, now 47, sued Choudhury and his West Los Angeles-based Yoga College of India in June 2013, alleging she was fired in retaliation for complaining about and investigating the harassment of women in his company. A jury returned its verdict in her favor in January 2016.

Osten said Choudhury has since been in various international locales, including India and Thailand. Choudhury was served in Acapulco on May 1 with court papers ordering that he appear in court Wednesday and show why he should not be held in contempt of court, according to Osten, who said Choudhury was in Mexico teaching a yoga class.

When Choudhury failed to show in court Wednesday, the judge issued the arrest order, Osten said.


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