PRESS RELEASE: the evolution of Bikram yoga


Evolation yoga collective shields hot yoga world from Bikram’s anger & legal dysfunction


In the midst of the current controversy surrounding Bikram Choudhury, one international collective of yoga studios and experienced teachers is bringing the hot yoga community together. Since evolation yoga was unsuccessfully sued by Bikram in 2012,  the founders Mark Drost and Zefea Samson-Drost have increased their efforts to bring the hot yoga community together.

They say: “When we work together to move this community forward we collectively go to new heights. All the fear and abuse will become a distant memory. There is nothing Bikram can do to hold us back any more. We have broken free of his tyranny.” When studios become part of the evolation collective there is strength and safety in numbers. Evolation have already taken Bikram on in court and won. Now they will be there to defend other studios agains legal threats they face from his disintegrating world. Evolation is in a perfect position to help shield the hot yoga community from Bikram’s anger and legal dysfunction.

While Mark worked closely with Bikram from 2002 – 2008, he saw a steady decline in the training experience. This decline was mainly due to Bikram’s erratic behavior. During that time Mark was experiencing up close and personal much of what is coming out today. He could not in good conscience continue down a collective path while being exposed to the steady stream of abuse of the people he was supposed to be helping. The couple left the Bikram community in order to provide a more comprehensive, inclusive and intimate training experience for students who want to become teachers of the hot yoga Primary Series.

Mark and Zefea still have much respect for their teacher; even after the lawsuit that was as abusive as all of the other behavior. They proved in that case that there is no copyright on the sequence and everybody in the world is welcome to teach it in any way that they please. Whatever happens following the new charges that Bikram faces there will be a fallout for everyone associated with him directly. Evolation offers the same foundation, the same class and the same lineage without the association. They are an important force for evolving the Bikram community.

about evolation yoga:

Evolation founders Mark Drost – who was a senior member of the Bikram teacher training team, and his wife Zefea Samson-Drost – who competed in the top 10 at the International Yoga Asana championships for 3 years, created evolation yoga in 2009 to provide a comprehensive inclusive and intimate training experience for students who wanted to study the hot yoga Primary Series, without the associated attachments.

Evolation has expanded into a worldwide organisation with studios in America, South America and Australia – and affiliate studios in Europe and beyond. Their success lies in the ability of each one of their several hundred teacher training graduates to lead an excellent class immediately after being certified by the evolation team. In 2014 they will host teacher trainings at destinations including Madrid, Brazil, Amsterdam, Santa Barbara, Abu Dhabi, Kenya and Bali.

related stories:

ABC Nightline 02/25: Bikram Yoga Founder Accused of Sexual Assault:

YogaLunchbox: How Bikram Yoga Evolved into Evolation Yoga – [Video Interview]

Bloomberg Story:

Evolation Press Release, 2012:

social media:

contact details:

Mark Drost
+1 561.827.8279
evolation yoga
The Big Yellow House
108 Pierpont Avenue, 2nd floor
Summerland, California 93067

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Evolation yoga is devoted to helping you become more Self-centered – in an ego-free way. By combining the powerful physical properties of hot yoga with the awareness-enhancing effects of meditation, evolation’s aim is to make you healthier, happier, and more in touch with that elusive little thing called the Self.