This film uncovers some of the foundations that make up yoga and Ayurveda, and which have been diluted in the course of their worldwide spread. Yoga scholars and teachers, yogis, Ayurveda scholars and doctors, all of whom were chosen for their decades of honest and profound practice and experience, respond to common misconceptions and prejudices: does Ayurveda mean vegetarian? Is Yoga a religion? What is a yogi? What is knowledge? What does science mean? What is life?
Cast: Dr. Vinod Verma, R. Sriram, Anjali Sriram, Dr. Nrusingh Charan Panda, Swami Nadananda, Sudhir Natarajan, Swami Paramadvaiti, Dr. T.G. Vinodkumar, Dr. A. Sudheer, Dr. G. Meera
Director: Rajele Jain
Genre: Creative Documentary
Runtime: 108 min
Although the popularity of India since the 1960s has brought reports about yoga and later also Ayurveda to the West, today’s offers from the fields of wellness or alternative medicine do not seem to take into account the seriousness and requirements (especially on the part of the student/customer) as described in the original theories and practices. This softening possibly prevents seriously interested people from becoming familiar with the possibilities for a self-determined, happy and healthy life, which could be found here as universal knowledge.
Everyone knows the common prejudices: Yoga practice is like acrobatics (at least if you look at the advertising photos for yoga classes), an Ayurvedical treatment means lying passively on a bench and getting oil dripped on your forehead (“this is only done for mentally ill people”, my Ayurveda specialist protested), meditators only perceive themselves, retreats or Ayurvedic medicines have to be paid dearly and so on. All this is to be countered by direct questioning of the most experienced and honest practitioners and teachers, but even more importantly: what can we all, in the West but also in India itself, actually gain by it as contemporary people?