The name Richard Nixon is not one you'd normally expect to find in a newspaper story about a yoga guru, but there it was in this morning's Los Angeles Times' story on yoga guru Bikram Choudhury and his problems with the city of L.A. Choudhury's been charged with 10 criminal safety violations at one of his yoga studios (Choudhury's the very litigious guy who introduced the concept of franchising to yoga, building a little empire of studios by injecting the marketing logic that made McDonald's great into an ancient spiritual practice). Naturally, Choudhury denies the charges, and not unsurprisingly, he's claiming persecution. In fact the only surprising thing about the Times story is Nixon, and he doesn't show up until almost the end.
Bikram said his yoga has helped stars such as Shirley MacLaine and Raquel Welch and athletes such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar and John McEnroe. He once said that he had cured Richard Nixon of phlebitis. (emphasis added)
Funny, I don't remember any yoga displays at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Theme Park, Yorba Linda's No. 1 Family Friendly Fun Spot. But then, I don't suppose a sweaty Nixon in a unitard and wingtips doing the downward facing dog would really be "family friendly".
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