October 21, 2012

Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey.

*Note: the author received this DVD for free in return to review the said offering. That said, she says what she wants—good or bad, happy or sad.

“Don’t curse the darkness. Light a candle”

Suzanne Bryant-Cunha produced and starred in this documentary about her life; a life turned upside down after her mother died of breast cancer at age 57. Suzanne put together a beautiful and sweet film about this mysterious thing called yoga.

Right from the opening scenes I was hooked.

Suzanne narrates the movie and shares her thoughts on change discussing how we are all searching for happiness and love, but that it is change which forces us to stop and face our truth. This concept, with its truth, rang so deeply within me I was glued for the entirety of the movie.

The hour long film features a wide range of yogi superstars such as Shiva Rae, Seane Corn, Sharron Gannon and David Life, Baron Baptiste, Krishna Das, Ana Forrest, Cyndi Lee and many others familiar to anyone in the world of yoga. I loved hearing everything they had to say. They weren’t preaching, or dictating, but humbly sharing their experiences and what they thought about transformation, yoga practice, enlightenment, empowerment, purpose, karma, etc.

It was like a yoga student’s buffet for your brain and heart.

Through interviews and scenic shots of New York, California and India, the viewer is given an idea of what experienced yogis, teachers and scholars alike, think of the practice and how it can help transform, connect and bring us to our better selves, despite our fear and suffering.

Suzanne had been practicing yoga for a while, and after the death of her mother she comes to find solace in the practice, but she needed to go deeper than just the poses. Indeed, the physical postures do bring about a connection that aligns us with the earth and opens us up to greater world, but there is so much more to it than the feet on the mat.

The film, in broad strokes, gives both newbies and experienced yogis an idea of why this practice is not only so popular, but also why it’s important. As Michael Franti says, “It’s big now because the world needs yoga.”

It talks about how it cleanses the toxicity that builds up within us, how it balances our dark and light and exposes our truth and purpose. Seane Corn offers that to find your purpose in life is to go to your wounds. So, for example, if you’re an addict, your purpose is to help those who are addicted. Corn says, who better than you to help people who are dealing with the same things you are. Only you can say, “I see you, let me serve you.”

The movie provides possible answers to life’s big questions such as why people are searching for something they can’t buy, or acquire in any tangible sense.

It states that everyone wants to feel a certain way about themselves. It is interspersed with timeless quotes such as:

“Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment.”

Suzanne travels to different yoga teachers to glean some of their insight into how yoga can ultimately bring about a clarity into our lives. She travels to India to the sacred ashrams looking for her guru and gets a glimpse of what we might ultimately call enlightenment. She even has a near death experience that she was able to handle with absolute calm, allowing her to accept the unacceptable.

photo: flickr/Bob K.

It is an absolute wonderful film to watch, not only as an avid yoga practitioner, but as a person; a human being with fears, frustrations and questions about the practice and philosophy of yoga.

I think, in its hour long length, it merely brushes the surface of what it’s all about, but the film’s scope will ground you as a seeker and possibly lead you to delve further on your own. I recommend this video to anyone looking for answers and who understands that the answers won’t be found in money, drugs or shopping, but in yourself.


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