September 1, 2011

“YogaWoman” trailer perhaps more thought-provoking than anything.

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:28 pm by DivineShantiYoga

A trailer for a new film named YogaWoman has been circling the web, and while I am unable to give it an honest full review, the trailer itself has certainly provoked some interesting thoughts. In one word, “interesting” sums it up for me.

The trailer introduces the fact that women are now leading Yoga both in teaching and practicing in our Western nation with their high interest in maintaining personal health. This is a relevant turn, in that the ancient practice originated with men in the Eastern world, and was brought here by men. It’s true, that there is certainly a powerful feeling of interconnectedness while practicing this with other breathing, moving practitioners. This trailer insinuates that women practicing together create these feelings. I don’t love how the film seems more like an advertisement for women to practice Yoga (hence even the chosen title), and excludes the fact that men ARE practicing this, and experiencing the same sense of well-being and community. Can you say, sexist?

I understand them discussing the fact that Yoga with women has become a global phenomenon. (true) BUT, men too; suffer from depression, dieting, self-image issues and feed the ego with material possessions just as much as women do. I don’t see it as a much needed “women’s revolution”, but rather a “cultural” one.

I like the way that the trailer demonstrates how practicing Yoga can be a way to find personal balance in life, especially with all of the hustle and bustle of our society, and how the media contributes to us developing unhealthy body images. Yoga is a great path toward realizing your authentic self, FOR ANY gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, and social and financial status.

To me, so far this film seems a lot like an advertisement for women, contributing to the multi-billion dollar industry that Yoga has grown into in our country. Personally, I appreciate a well-made product as much as anyone else, but I do not feed into well-known businesses and support manufacturers of Yoga materials just for the sake of acquiring the brand. This is honoring the teaching of aparigraha (neutralizing desires to obtain). For this reason, I will not purchase box-office tickets for this film, but will view it later and maybe give a full review at that time.

If the “business” of Yoga is your financial livelihood, which leads you to disagree with my thoughts, than perhaps getting back to “Yoga 101” is a necessary action. My livelihood is fulfilled by the strong sense of community (sangha) that practicing and teaching Yoga creates, and being uplifted by the coherence of people (all people) taking care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally through the path of Yoga. Having the opportunity to guide others to themselves, to create a space for them to see their strengths and to honor their weaknesses is the reward in itself.

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