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Yoga 101 for Skeptics

June 2009
Yoga 101 for Skeptics

It’s been dubbed the Yoga Movie, but as the clever title (Enlighten Up!) makes clear, this documentary avoids a serious, dry-as-dust look at an ancient Indian tradition. Seattle-based Kate Churchill, who made the film, is already a yoga enthusiast. So, to create tension and humor, she takes on the task of converting a skeptic, Nick Rosen, who acts as her foil. Their interactions with each other and the yogis they meet drive the film’s story.

After visiting California, Hawaii and New York, Churchill and Rosen travel to India and make stops in Mumbai, Pune, Mysore, Chennai, Vrindavan, Gokul and New Delhi. In all, they consult over 70 yogis, including B.K.S. Iyengar, Madan Kataria, Pattabhi Jois, Dharma Mitra, Norman Allen and Shyamdas.

“Well-crafted pic traverses the globe, interviewing a who’s-who of gurus and investigating a wide range of regimens—with Rosen as both questioner and body-contorting guinea pig,” notes Variety.

So how successful was this elaborate—not to mention artificial—scheme?

“It was idealistic,” admits Churchill, “but I really believed that with the right person, and enough time, we could cut through the commercialism of the yoga industry and discover a practice or a teacher that could have a profound impact on Nick and subsequently me.”

Following a limited run in theaters, the film will be released on DVD later this year.

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