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The Clarion \ January 22, 2020
'Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator'
By Lande Simpson
Over break, a documentary on Bikram yoga
(the practice and yogi) came out on Netflix.
While I have been doing hot yoga for almost
two years now, I thought this would be rather
Bikram Choudhury brought the practice of
hot yoga to the United States and it became
a craze. He held classes with hundreds of
students at a time in hotel conferences or
ballrooms. His following became cult-like.
He had very obvious narcissistic tendencies
and used humiliation as a way to gain more
gratitude and love from his students, which
were obvious red flags, but his charisma
outweighed everything else.
While teaching his classes, he also viewed
himself as the alpha male. Many females
came forward and accused Bikram of sexual
assault. As for all, this shook the entire yoga
The production of this film was wonderful.
The producer turned a well known, hated figure
in the yoga community to be charismatic and
likeable. He was loved by many at a certain
time, since the classes and following was cult
By the end of the film, I compared Bikram
to Trump because my view was changed on
him (Bikram) as a result of the production
of it. Bikram was made out to be an amazing
yogi that developed hot yoga and changed
peoples lives but by the end, I realized there
was brainwashing and he was an awful human
being who just simply brought the hot yoga
practice over to the states.
The cinematography of the film was very
beautiful and eye opening. It showed the
humility that students faced when Bikram
would call people out in the middle of a pose.
It would also show the puddles of sweat and the
gratifaction on students faces after a hard class.
The cinematography was shot from different
angles but was kept simplistic. It needed to be
kept like that in a way to draw the focus to the
Survival was shown in this documentary by
displaying how Bikram’s career as a yogi is
still flourishing in other countries around the
world simply because he is shining a light on an
addictive practice. Many people do not want to
stop feeling the good endorphins that are being
set off while continuing this practice.
Bikram’s image and career has survived
through the #MeToo movement in the United
States and has not been brought down in other
countries despite his reputation in some places.
I rate this documentary nine Bikram speedos
out of ten Bikram speedos.
Ukrainian plane crash leads to
more tension in the Middle East
By Aia Andonovska
On Jan. 8, 2020 a horrible tragedy occurred.
A Ukranian flight leaving Tehran crashed
mysteriously, leaving 176 people dead, mostly
Ukranians and Canadians.
Decades of international sanctions have made
it difficult for the country of Iran to buy new
and spare aircraft parts for their planes, leaving
its citizens and traveling foreigners at risk for a
plane crash more than the average person. This
is what was initially provided as an explanation
for the untimely death of the passengers on the
Ukranian Airlines flight 752.
After Canadian and Ukranian officials
opened an investigation, it was discovered that
faulty airplanes in this case were not to blame
at all. Heightened tension in the region put the
Iranian government on high alert, after Donald
Trump ordered for Iranian General Qassam
Soleimani to be killed in an airstrike. In reality,
the plane was shot down, as it was mistaken
for an incoming American missile.
None of this would have happened if Iran
had taken the necessary precautions and halted
all air traffic while it was taking action against
U.S. forces in Iraq with their own missiles. It
was stated that the reasoning behind this was
if civilian air traffic continued, it would keep
the U.S. from attacking again.
Sadly, this had the opposite effect, with Iran
attacking their own people as well as several
Canadians and Ukranians. This plane crash
then ignited several protests across the country,
against the regime.
It seems that Tehran is hesitant to take any
action against the people who shot down the
plane. Instead, they have focused on arresting
the person who leaked a video that helped
journalists confirm suspicions about the plane
As the Iranian government continues to lack
accountability, its citizens are becoming more
and more restless because of their general
unhappiness with the people in power.
Debris from the Ukranian piane crash in the city of Tehran, iran.