Bikram Choudhury began learning Hatha Yoga poses in his native India, at the age of three. At five, he began studying with Bishnu Ghosh (Paramahansa Yogananda’s brother) and quickly became a yoga champion. At age eleven he was the youngest contestant ever to win the National India Yoga Competition. At 14, Swami Shivananda declared him "Yogi Raj" (King of the Yogis). At age 20, a weightlifting accident crippled Bikram. With the guidance of his guru, Bikram created his 26 posture series which restored his health. Combining Eastern discipline and Western medicine, Bikram perfected his comprehensive system suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Bikram arrived in the United States in 1973 at the invitation of President Nixon and the urging of Shirley Maclaine. He quickly became the foremost yoga teacher in the West as celebrities, athletes, and others began to flock to him. Since that time he has been healing thousands of students at his school in Beverly Hills and traveling the world extensively, bringing the benefits of Bikram’s Yoga to millions of students worldwide.