Sunday, November 29, 2009

enlighten up

I recently joined Netflix. One of the reasons I decided to join was because many of the movies and documentaries I wanted to see are not available at local movie stores. One such movie is Enlighten Up, a documentary created by a film-making yogini who sets out to prove that yoga can transform anyone, so she gets a very skeptical journalist, Nick, to embark on a journey to learn as much as he can about yoga and she follows him around with her camera.

On Tuesday, the much anticipated movie arrived in my mailbox. Perfect timing for the Thanksgiving holiday break. Yay! Tuesday night, I popped the movie into the DVD player, and after about 20 minutes of watching, the dvd got stuck. I took the dvd out of the player thinking it must be dirty and handed it over to my sweet husband to take a look at it. He informed me that it wasn't dirty, it had a big ding in it. After multiple times of trying to get the dvd to work, we finally gave up. I was definitely trying to use some yogic calming breath during this entire process, as I was feeling myself getting increasingly frustrated that I wasn't going to be spending my evening as I had originally planned. I immediately got on netflix website and reported the damaged dvd. By Friday, another copy of Enlighten Up had arrived.

I watched the entire movie Friday night, and...(if you haven't seen the movie, you may not want to read on as I don't want to ruin it for you!) I thought it was interesting and somewhat entertaining, but truthfully, overall a bit disappointing. You see, I was really hoping Nick would be completely transformed and a true believer in yoga. As I, too, so whole-heartedly believe in the power of yoga to transform lives. However, Nick never really bought in to the transforming power of the practice. He did seem to undergo change throughout the making of the film and perhaps his yoga practice helped him make the changes he did; however, he definitely was not a dedicated, transformed yogi by the end of the movie.

One of the scenes that stood out most to me was when Nick was talking with David Life and and Sharon Gannon. David said they have a sign outside their yoga studio doors with the question, "Are you ready?"

Perhaps Nick just wasn't ready. Perhaps he will never be. I wonder how many opportunities in life pass us by because we aren't yet ready. And, what can we do to make sure we are ready when opportunities come our way?

Are you ready?


p.s. If you've seen this film, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!


Melita said...

i skipped over your review as i've not seen this yet. it is in my netflix queue though :)

Yogadiva said...

I'd love to hear your thoughts after you watch it!

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts. Not sure if you're aware of the interview Nick and Kate gave to Yoga Dork a few weeks back?

Your impressions seem to align very well with Nick's own comments.

We all had a bit of a debate about some of the things Nick said in that interview. Specifically where he claims that yoga is only 100 years old!

Which spilled over into Elephant Journal and very shortly, my reply to the whole thing is going to appear on Linda's Yoga Journey.

Stay tuned if you're interested! :D

Pink Heels said...

I find it interesting that so many people in the yoga community are deeply disappointed in this movie because Nick doesn't embrace yoga as a life altering and beneficial addition to his life. Yoga is not the only path to peace, happiness, and even enlightenment. I liked this movie because it was real...not everyone loves yoga I personally love yoga but the movie reminded me that it is not the be all and end all. We each have a unique journey as we experience life. We will take different paths while embracing somethings while discarding others. To each his or her own. It is far more important to listen to our instincts and respect what is being said. For Nick, yoga wasn't going to provide what he needed in life. He listened to that inner voice and moved on. I give him a lot of credit for trying yoga out and listening to his gut.

Yogadiva said...

Pink Heels--Thanks for sharing your thoughtful response. I agree with many of your points and it made me rethink some of my feelings of disappointment and question where they came from. I do know my strong belief and passion for yoga can sometimes be a bit naive' and idealistic!