Enlighten Up – a review

I wouldn’t have thought that it would be possible to make a funny, touching documentary about yoga that really got into the heart of what yoga is. Well, apparently it is possible, for it has been done. For those of us who take this practice seriously, but have some curiosity (and perhaps some reservations) about some of those who take it even more seriously, this was a fine, fine film. There were very funny scenes (kundalini = kundalooney!), and there were quite moving scenes as well (eg, when Nick and Kate are in India, and he starts crying when he talks about his mom). The film really confirmed my suspicion that Indian masters are teaching a very different discipline than many of their well known American counterparts (the long and the short of it: it doesn’t matter what you’re doing; what matters is how you’re doing it – this is yoga).

I also found it quite interesting that as Nick (the subject of the documentary) began delving further into yoga, Kate (his friend and documentarian) began getting frustrated with him for not being able to articulate his experience and evolving belief in the terms that she was expecting. At least, this was my take on it. It struck me that perhaps she was looking for a greater understanding for herself about yoga and trying to acquire it vicariously through Nick, the neophyte, though she didn’t seem entirely aware of it. But perhaps I’m just projecting.

BKS Iyengar made the poignant observation that you can’t start thinking about philosophy until you’re in a good state of health. That is what links this physical practice of sticky mats and tank tops to the deeper practices of dharna, dhyana, and samadhi. First prepare the body; then proceed from there. This question comes up so often (what does twisting yourself into a pretzel have to do with the headier philosophies of yoga?), and I’m glad to finally have an easily digestible answer from none other than Sri Iyengar.

So yogis and yoginis – go see this film! You will love it.


One Response

  1. A friend of mine who teaches yoga saw this and recommended it too…

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