‘I am the serenest!’ he says
LHASA, TIBET—Employing the brash style that first brought him to prominence, Sri Dhananjai Bikram won the fifth annual International Yogi Competition yesterday with a world-record point total of 873.6.
“I am the serenest!” Bikram shouted to the estimated crowd of 20,000 yoga fans, vigorously pumping his fists. “No one is serener than Sri Dhananjai Bikram—I am the greatest monk of all time!”
Bikram averaged 1.89 breaths a minute during the two-hour competition, nearly .3 fewer than his nearest competitor, second-place finisher and twotime champion Sri Salil “The Hammer” Gupta.
The heavily favored Gupta was upset after the loss. “I should be able to beat that guy with one lung tied,” Gupta said. “I’m beside myself right now, and I don’t mean trans-bodily.”
Bikram got off to a fast start at the Lhasa meet, which like most major competitions, is a six-event affair. In the first event, he attained total consciousness (TC) in just 2 minutes, 34 seconds, and set the tone for the rest of the meet by repeatedly shouting, “I’m blissful! You blissful?! I’m blissful!” to the other yogis.
Bikram, 33, burst onto the international yoga scene with a gold-mandala performance at the 1994 Bhutan Invitational. At that competition he premiered his aggressive style, at one point in the flexibility event sticking his middle toes out at the other yogis.
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