Just as we are susceptible to change during the 90 minutes or so we spend on our mat, the same breakthroughs and epiphanies can awaken your soul while under the influence of art. Yoga, in philosophy and expression, is no doubt artistry in motion. And its lessons and truths are everywhere.
A great teacher, a powerful read, a beautiful song and a compelling film can ignite that same fire within us that says “Wow! What an unbelievable gift it is to be alive. I will not waste one more second taking myself and life for granted.”
1. I Am
A title befitting of yoga with even more meaning than meets the eye. This film is directed by Tom Shadyac, of Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor and other comedy gem fame. While laughter is a gift and an important one, through his reign of success in the 1990’s and 2000’s Tom quickly acquired more and more money and possessions while consistently feeling less and less fulfilled. A near death accident set him on his spiritual quest to find what is right and wrong with the world, the answer being a definitive, I AM. While the film focuses its value on Being rather than Doing, as is often the case in Yoga, it also sheds light on how we each are contributing to the world we live in and how we can redirect ourselves in the right direction. He speaks to brilliant minds, travels the world, showcases the beauty inherent in nature and provokes an internal shift in us all to recognize ourselves as the light and love we are and to be the change we want to see in the world.
2. Life in a Day
This is the story of human beings on planet earth. Director Ridley Scott gathered submitted footage from around the globe all shot on July 24th, 2010. Showcasing a myriad of ethic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, we see how exquisitely unique people are and, more importantly, we see common threads that connect us all. The film brilliantly expresses the duality in which most of us live, through love and fear. The external may look, sound or feel different, but the internal experience is resonant with each of us. We’re all the same. We make decisions based in love and fear every single day, often times without the awareness. Through this film you feel compassion toward others as you recognize yourself in each of their stories. This film is spellbinding, a kaleidoscope for the senses, an important instrument in plucking at our heart strings.
3. Tree of Life
This bold film by Terrence Malick is a cinematographer’s dream. Nothing you read or hear about this film can adequately encapsulate the experience of watching it. It is a sweeping epic, taking place in a 1950’s suburban home, the present day life of a child who grew up in that home, along with awe-inspiring images from space, nature and breathtaking imagination. Throughout the human struggles that evolve during the story, we’re systematically brought back to the muse, to the truth, stillness and light of this film and life, and that is through the majestic beauty of trees. We get a glimpse into the subconscious of various characters all searching for something they lost, the intangible, the invisible thread that connects them back to the source. This source being love, contentment, indestructible peace and oneness that is so accessible through the presence of trees, of life without thoughts to disturb it. Your, my, and our path back to enlightenment, back to purity, God, the truth, Yoga, Love and whatever string of letters makes the most sense to you is much more clear and available than our minds would allow us to believe. Allow yourself to absorb the consciousness of other powerful forms of life and you’ll awaken to that intelligence within yourself. Let go and let love.
All three films inspire reflection, introspection into what encompasses our daily lives. What emotions am I consistently experiencing? How engaged am I with others, with my work, with my play, with myself as a living, breathing being on this planet? How present is my decision making? Am I choosing love or fear? It’s often as simple as that.
Watch these films, read some positive books, unroll your mat, breathe, and rejoice in the life that you are. Go grab life by the balls and live it!
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