Top 13 Movies/TV Shows for Yogis—And Why.

Via Rina Jakubowicz
on Apr 14, 2012
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Me at Pixar in California. I got as close as they would let me.

Below is a list of 13 movies or TV shows that I think would be great for yogis to watch and get inspired.

They have similar messages as to the teachings in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
(If you are interested in me linking up the movies with their respective yoga sutra then please comment on this article and let me know.)

They are in no particular order and there is no reason for 13—that’s just the number that came up. Enjoy!

  1. Peaceful Warrior

    This is a must! This movie will show not tell the audience what yoga and being present is all about.  Everytime I watch it I get inspired to live now! I invite you to do the same.

    “There’s never nothing going on.” – Dan Millman. Can someone please throw me over a bridge now? Aah!

  2. What the Bleep Do We Know?

    This movie is powerful as long as all the interviews filled with quantum physics terminology doesn’t make you fall asleep halfway through. I usually pass out after the wedding scene, but it shares some conceptual truths in a visual and understandable way. This is hard to achieve with such esoteric concepts, so kudos to them. It is worth watching all the way through at least once.

  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender

    The TV Series not the movie. Please do yourself a favor and never ever watch the movie version of this amazing TV series! If you want to get back at a friend you may suggest they watch this movie so they waste an hour and 30 minutes of their life. No, don’t do that yogis. We practice ahimsa, non-harming. Anywho, this clever and witty cartoon is genius! The story is so well developed and the messages throughout all the three seasons will leave you wanting more. It is for all age groups. And a yogi would like this because there is actually a whole episode dedicated to yoga and the chakras and there’s something called the Spirit World! Plus, who wouldn’t want to bend water, fire, earth and air? These are the siddhis (superpowers of yogis) at their best and worst!

    (I couldn’t find the English version of this clip so here’s a little Spanish Avatar. It does sound a little cheesy, but I’m hoping you watch the whole show. Well worth your time. I know I’m not the only one who would watch episode after episode hooked to a marathon weekend.)

  4. Animaniacs

    Yes Animaniacs. They are crazy and that’s exactly why they are yogis. They turn the world (aka our reality) upside down by being completely themselves. Could you handle living in the world they live in? Does your world need to be perfect all the time, or can you find the peace in the chaos? Yakko, Wakko and Dot are actually geniuses in my book—if you can see the deeper layers. Really, really deep layers. Thanks Steven Spielberg!

    Here’s another one. (I just couldn’t help myself.)

  5. I Heart Huckabees.

    Oh the beauty of the blanket metaphor. Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin master the yin and yang in this movie. Prepare to be surprised by this witty comedy/drama. Would you hire people to follow you around and analyze every move, every breath, every word, then question you on all your actions in order to find deeper healing? Lily and Dustin are actually your Yoga Sutras in practice during this movie.

  6. Meet the Robinsons.

    A Disney/Pixar movie that came and went under the radar, but it was beautiful and had a very profound message.

    We are all family in the end. When we see clearly, we are all connected and part of each other. When we are in the dark and in ignorance, we feel like orphans. Plus, the motto of the movie is “Keep Moving Forward!!!” How great is that? You just gotta watch it!

  7. Wings of Desire (City of Angels was a remake of this movie.)

    When I was in college I wrote a screenplay with a similar theme to this movie, without having seen it, of course. Why I think a yogi would like this is because it hopes to instill compassion in us all by being able to hear people thoughts as you pass them on the street. That is what I was hoping to achieve in my own movie, which I never completed. Maybe one day, if it is meant to be.

  8. The Music Never Stopped

    This movie will remind us yogis about our impressions, which can be so powerful and branding. What I loved about this movie was that the main actor who was suffering from a brain tumor was only able to remember things from his past when he heard songs that triggered his memory. Of course, he would remember the memories that he needed to heal the most, which is the power of the True Self trying to teach something to the little self. Healing can still happen on any level, especially when it’s not mental.

  9. Amelie

    I think everyone who has seen this movie loves it. But, why? Because it shares the simple pleasures in life. It shows beauty in the strangest places and it definitely awakens your senses. This movie is so well done that I even smelled the fruits in the fruit cart scenes so vividly. In addition, is shares how the power of one happy girl can influence a whole town positively. We all have that potential if we allow ourselves to see and be more truthfully.

  10. Serendipity

    Trust the universe. Don’t fret if things don’t go exactly how you had planned. The universe, God, Purusha, whomever you believe in, always has your best interest in mind…just trust, yogis, and surrender!

  11. Samantha Who?

    This quirky TV show stares Christina Applegate who comes out of a coma and has amnesia. The yogi would like this because it is an interesting approach to what would happen if you lost your identity and your ego all in one instant. She doesn’t even remember if she liked certain foods or if she liked dancing and what not. How would you shape your life without any memories of happy or sad times? You would automatically forgive anyone who “harmed” you, and you would literally let go of all your issues at once. Would you create new ones? What would be your perspective if this happened to you? Is it a blessing or not?

    I am _________________.

  12. Psych (I know—I just love the dorky sitcoms!)

    I will admit that I love this show. The main reason is because the premise of the show involves this young guy, Sean Spencer, who pretends to be psychic in order to help detectives solve crimes in Santa Barbara, California. But really what he is is super observant and sees a lot more than the average person. He can deduce things by intuition and clear thinking—a yoga siddhi for sure! Plus, the main characters are funny and the script includes a lot of witty humor (yes witty—well, at least in my opinion) and they reference a lot of movies as their schtick.

  13. Life is Beautiful

    If you haven’t seen this movie, then you really have not felt pure emotion during a movie yet. This whole movie inspires true love. It shows one how to change one’s perspective to see that life is beautiful. To this day, I still feel that Roberto Benigni died in WWII because of his truthful performance. He’s an amazing character who you so badly want to believe existed during those harsh times. It’s all a matter of perspective. Walking towards his death, he smiled, made funny faces and danced for the sake of his son’s happiness! I’m crying now just writing this. What a powerful message.

    See his love and beauty in this clip.  Click here!


Editor Tanya L. Markul

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About Rina Jakubowicz

Rina Jakubowicz, yoga instructor, motivational speaker, and author of Choose Peace, is known for her vibrant and uplifting approach to yoga. Never shy about herself, she understands that we are all the same and openly shares the lessons of her life without reservation, fostering an environment of complete trust. Warning: Her love of life is contagious. Read more from Rina on her blog here. Rina Jakubowicz, instructora de yoga, oradora motivacional y autora de Choose Peace, es conocida por su enfoque dinámico y estimulante para el yoga. Nunca tímida acerca de sí misma, se entiende que todos somos lo mismo y ella comparte abiertamente las lecciones de su vida sin reservas, fomentando un ambiente de plena confianza. Atención: Su amor a la vida es contagiosa.


33 Responses to “Top 13 Movies/TV Shows for Yogis—And Why.”

  1. Rita says:

    Cinderela man, the fighter…. Buenos principios tanto familiares como personales..

  2. cit1 says:

    Awesome post! I haven't heard of most of these so I'm definitely looking forward to checking a few of them out… especially the Pixar one!!

    Please keep writing in!

  3. Charmaine says:

    Meet the Robinsons is my favorite movie of all time!

  4. Lalana says:

    I liked "Up" and "How To Tame A Dragon" and thought they had "Yogic Undertones"…:)…plus cartoons just make me feel good…:)

  5. cit1 says:

    KungFu Panda has some good quotes in it too 😛

  6. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Thanks for the list! I loved Huckabees! What about Stranger than Fiction and Yes Man? 🙂

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  7. Mona says:

    I have to disagree with you on the movie, The Last Airbender. I thought it was a fantastic. Ahimsa may not have been practiced in it but there was plenty of other yoga. I particularly loved how he struggled with living his dharma. I highly recommend this movie.
    I do agree with you on Meet the Robinsons, what a great message!

  8. Rina says:

    Lo voy a tener que ver. gracias! 🙂

  9. Rina says:

    Thanks cit1! 🙂 Keep me posted on your thoughts.

  10. Rina says:

    Keep moving forward!!! 🙂 haha!

  11. Rina says:

    Me too! Cartoons are the best! I liked Up also. I haven't seen Tame the Dragon, but I'll let you know when I do! 🙂

  12. Rina says:

    Yes it does! It was a great movie! Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Rina says:

    Hey Tanya, I haven't seen Stranger Than Fiction but I'll check it out. Yes Man was great too. Thanks for the support.

  14. Rina says:

    Hey Mona,
    Had you seen The Last Airbender TV series before the movie? That definitely influenced my opinion. Just wondering. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  15. Lalana says:

    I loved "How To Tame A Dragon" for how it showed intolerance for something not understood (the dragons) and the super cute dragon the boy meets up with and how it all comes together:) The cartoons like it and "UP" and many others just make me smile. Yes…Meet The Robinsons as well!

  16. Tim says:

    Thanks for the list- I have several new movies on my "to watch" list now that I hadn't heard of before!

    Have you ever seen the Swedish film "As It Is In Heaven"?

  17. Yoguy says:

    Great list!
    Very eclectic. Many connections.
    Thanks for the tip about Psych- clever show.
    Wings of Desire- poetry on film.

    It was along way down from the bridge Socrates.
    How do i find my way to shore?
    I guess it's up to serendipity…


  18. Rina says:

    No I haven't. I'll have to check it out.

  19. Rina says:

    Namaste yoguy! Had you watched them before? 🙂

  20. Joseph says:

    "Life is beautiful" is unforgettable! Mental re-shaping… I am passionate about music even more than film, you've inspired me to create a list of "songs about letting go" ..

  21. yoguy says:

    I had seen, enjoyed and believe in Serendipity. I own copies of What the Bleep and Amelie. I watched the other movies and some episodes of the cartoons and sitcoms per your recommendation. Food for thought and inspiration. Plus some laughs and some tears. Thanks for sharing.
    Your blogs hit home. It's comforting to know that I am in such good company hating Doonesbury. 🙂

  22. Rina says:

    Great to hear Joseph. Keep an eye out for my next post. I know you will love it! 🙂 Send me the list when you're done please. 🙂 Namaste'

  23. Rina says:

    Awesome! Glad to hear I'm not the only one too! haha! 🙂 namaste yoguy! 🙂

  24. yoguy says:

    Any new movie recommendations?

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  25. yoguy says:

    I'll bet you would enjoy the movie Fever Pitch. Like Life is Beautiful it deals with true love and putting the well being of others before ones own.

    I'll bet you are a wise and passionate teacher who embodies that ideal.

    I'll bet you have a magical way of weaving art, music and science with yoga sutras to create a unique view of the world outside and the world within the mind and body.

    I'll bet you have a lyrical soul.

    I'll bet you are a wonderful person to truly know …


  26. yoguy says:

    Two, three, five, eight!

    Who do I appreciate?


  27. yoguy says:


    <ineffable feeling>

  28. yoguy says:

    A day with no hole in my heart

    I really don't know where to start

  29. yoguy says:

    "Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure"

    Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives


  30. yoguy says:

    I'm still wading …

  31. yoguy says:



  32. yoguy says:

    My life was like a movie script this year.

    I learned a powerful lesson from a wise yoga teacher. Besides receiving excellent technical instruction, I learned that I am not ready to be a yoga teacher.

    Perhaps I never will be. My desire to be a teacher revolved solely around my wanting to be near my teacher all of the time. This is not a good reason to become a yoga teacher. My teacher quickly enlightened me by using Shock and Awe tactics that rivaled Desert Storm. I am still seeing sparks.

    I also learned that I am a dedicated yogi for life. I begin and end every day with some form of yoga and thrive on the thrill of practicing to achieve a difficult asana. I owe a huge debt of thanks to my yoga teachers who have given me the expertise to practice asanas with such confidence.

    But I still do not feel the calling to be a yoga teacher. I am content to remain a student.

    Inevitably, I end up being a teacher anyway. When I hear a person complain of back pain I observe their posture and suggest therapeutic poses.

    The other day I had two big guys doing down dog in the hallway at work because they told me they had Achilles tendon problems. They were both pumping their legs like Usain Bolt at the starting line and loving it. I also taught them to run correctly because improper running form causes strain on tendons and knees.

    Which brings up that yoga reignited my love of running. Not just plain boring running. Free running. Trail running. Obstacle course running. The kind of running that an Airbender does. The kind of running that our ancestors used for survival. They had to be flexible.

    The cat-like grace and beauty of a yogic warrior.

    Yoga and free running go hand in hand. Anyone care to join me on the trail?

    <new script starts>

  33. yoguy says:

    I'm waiting for Sandy Claws