Arrest warrant issued for Bikram yoga founder

LOS ANGELES – A California judge on Wednesday an arrest warrant for the founder of Bikram yoga, who ordered his hand over the proceeds of his global fitness company to satisfy a $6.8 million judgment won by a former legal adviser.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton issued the warrant for Bikram Choudhury, and set bail of $8 million.

No lawyers appeared for the Choudhury, who claimed last year he was almost bankrupt.

The award was won by Minakshi “Micki” Jafa-Bodden, who claimed Choudhury sent her when she refused to help him cover up an accusation of rape.

Her attorney, Carla Minnard, said they have kept luxury vehicles and other goods that Choudhury moved out of state, and court orders in Nevada and Florida to prevent him from moving goods from warehouses.

Jafa-Bodden worked as head of the department of legal and international affairs at Choudhury’s Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 to March 2013, when she said that she was abruptly fired from her six-figure position.

Jafa-Bodden also said Choudhury sexually abused and improperly touched her, and tried to get her to stay with him in a suite at the hotel.

They called it a “great day for women” when she was awarded with a victory on Choudhury.

Choudhury has built an empire around Bikram yoga, a rigorous, 90-minute routine performed in a space that can reach more than 100 degrees. The technique is taught at more than 650 studios around the world, and has drawn dedicated followers.

He is faced with sexual abuse lawsuits filed by six other women, five of whom are accusing Choudhury of rape. One of those lawsuits is in the process of settlement, while the rest are set for trial later this year.

His lawyers have said that he never sexually assaulted one of the women suing him, pointing out that the prosecutors had declined to bring charges in the following cases.

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