Worth the Drive

29 Apr


Jamie, Karen, Suzanna and I had a very fun field trip today. We enjoyed a special viewing of the film Enlighten Up, complete with Yoga-Celebrity sightings and meeting the director in the flesh. I also had my first Thai meal ever, and enjoyed such rich company.

I can’t get over what a great piece of work this documentary is. First of all, I was delighted to be hit immediately with the director’s wicked sense of humor and very masterful editing skills. I can’t remember the last time a movie had me laughing out loud this intensely. Interwoven amongst the humor of the yoga world laughing at itself, were the very real themes of human consciousness, belief, faith, skepticism and inquiry. The big questions of Why? and How? and Who? were explored in a very honest, real way. I LOVE it when things are approached from that perspective of complete honesty, even if it’s awkward or unexpected or better yet – hilarious.

The movie chronicles Kate Churchill’s big Yoga Project, immersing Nick Rosen, a New York resident and yoga skeptic and journalist  through an intense immersion into all things yoga for six month. Nick is thrown into all types of yoga classes, met the big American Yoga-Rock Stars, and traverses to India to practice with and talk to the Indian Yoga-Rock Stars. Some of them are enlightened, and some of them are idiots. The whole time, as a westerner, I went from feeling Kate’s pain as Nick succeeded and failed, and feeling and understanding Nick’s perspective of “c’mon, really?” I definitely enjoyed hearing Nick, as the skeptic interviewing great masters with honesty and respect for something he really didn’t understand.

At the end of the film, I left feeling more connected than ever to my yoga path. I want to hit my mat and I although I’m still extremely curious and skeptical about many things, I feel an extreme release of cynicism. I was reminded by what my friend Suzanna’s philosophy of yoga, “Whether or not you believe that yoga can transform your life, it will happen. All you have to do is make room in your life for some time on the mat. I think of yoga as a moving meditation, a dance of strength and grace that unexpectedly brings the mind in tune with the heart.”


The film is definitely worth the drive to Berkeley. It will be showing at the Shattuck Cinemas, opening THIS Friday. The director will be there on Friday, and if it shows well, it will probably get picked up for another week or two. The DVD is set to be released this November, and I’m excited to give it out to my non-yoga family members for Christmas.

2 Responses to “Worth the Drive”

  1. Jody Weltz April 29, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    I’m disappointed that I missed the opportunity to go with. Jamie invited me but I have to be a responsibile parent now that my man is back at work. Argh!!

  2. lisalovesyoga April 30, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    What? You’ve never had Thai?? What is wrong with you, woman??

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