At my yoga school in Melbourne we used to hold regular movie nights as part of the program. Afterward, we’d sit in a circle and discuss the spiritual message. It was great fun.
Here is a list of the top fifteen movies that we ranked as the most inspiring on our film nights.
15. A Christmas Carol (1999)
The classic Dickens novel beautifully adapted. Themes of transformation and heart opening.
14. About a Boy
Recognizing the importance of connection and breaking free of isolation and selfishness.
13. The Karate Kid I
The struggle of fitting in and finding a true friend, that can become a spiritual journey if you let it. There are definitely lessons of patience and discipline.
12. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring
This is an amazing film and truly spiritual. The episodes take us on a journey of immaturity and selfishness, to redemption and self forgiveness. The cycles of life that are beautiful and profound.
11. The Story of the Weeping Camel
I could not believe what I was seeing. It is part documentary and part narrative. Both funny and incredibly eye opening.
10. Rabbit-Proof Fence
The themes of determination, love for family and the desire to break free are essential to the yogi’s journey and exemplified in this movie.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB-jkydqADg&w=560&h=315
9. Napoleon Dynamite
If someone watched this movie without recognizing the spiritual messages that would be understandable. But, they’re there, although subtle and multifaceted. It requires close attention. They are definitely there. Hilariously funny, but truly a film for modern yogis.
8. The Matrix
There are plenty of Jewish symbols and references that won’t escape an astute viewer. The Wachowski brothers mixed some interesting ideas together to create something quite philosophical.
7. Life is Beautiful
The theme of the imagination and the power of innocence is deeply interwoven throughout the narrative. There are definitely lessons for modern yogis in this film.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64ZoO7oiN0s&w=420&h=315
6. The Shawshank Redemption
The importance of hope and positive thinking, that is an essential thread that is common to this movie and yoga. In yoga the word for hope is asha.
5. It’s a Wonderful Life
The word for sacrifice is tapas. This film shows how God comes to save and protect those who make the sacrifice to protect and serve others.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBDoRCfbMjo&w=420&h=315
4. Whale Rider
This is an important film everyone should see. Period. It shows how girls/women are just as powerful leaders as boys/men. Equality also being a central value in yoga.
3. Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata
India’s greatest epic with themes of fate, free will and the ethics of serving the greater good.
2. The Razor’s Edge
World War I survivor returns from the bloody battlefields a changed man in this inspiring adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s classic novel. Embarking on an expedition to discover the meaning of his life, he finds that enlightenment is a narrow path like a razor’s edge.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVrY4neM1Zs&w=420&h=315
1. Peaceful Warrior
Centered around the guru-disciple relationship, what I loved is that it’s set in a modern western context that doesn’t rely on an Indian man in saffron robes living in a cave.
Hope you get an opportunity to experience them all and find your own connection to the truths they reveal.
Marcus became a yoga teacher soon after discovering yoga at University. His classes are fun, passionate and often intense. They offer students the chance to go deep within and connect with their breath and release their emotions. Marcus communicates his love of yoga through guiding each student with insight and compassion, weaving ancient wisdom with simplicity and an emphasis on the student’s experience. His primary objective is to teach a system of yoga that fully integrates the body, mind and spirit, and channels that energy to its highest potential and purpose. Marcus continues to grow his own yoga practice everyday while remaining passionate about helping others connect to theirs. He teaches private one-on-one yoga in Sydney.
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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