Hot yoga guru warms to Jerry Brown


Attorney General Jerry Brown may not yet be a declared candidate for governor. But one well-known yoga guru has already cast his vote with the once and possibly future governor.

Brown’s gubernatorial campaign exploratory committee received a $25,900 donation from the L.A-based Bikram’s Yoga College of India earlier this month — the maximum allowable donation under California law. Bikram yoga is the hot yoga practice created, and patented, by Bikram Choudhury. The practice has franchises around the world, but its global headquarters is in Los Angeles.

Accolytes of the hot yoga practice include Madonna, Sting and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In a 2005 interview with LA Yoga magazine, Brown talked yoga — both Bikram and otherwise, and what the world might look like if government leaders meditated. “Certainly if we had some of our more aggressive politicians doing yoga or meditating it would be definitely helpful,” he said. “I do think we’re in a very distracted world, 24-hour television, very frightening. So anything that contributes to wholeness, integrity or contemplation would be a very good corrective to the novelty obsession that characterizes our culture.”

When asked if he practiced yoga, Brown said: “I’ve done yoga in different places, Forrest Yoga in Santa Monica. I had yoga in my building and I did yoga in San Francisco in the Bikram-type studio, although the temperature was only in the low 90s, so it was only a deviant form of Bikram, a more comfortable form, I might add.”

Judging from the $25,900 check, we’d say all is forgiven. 

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