capturing the essence of yoga on film


September 5, 2012

This week’s topic: Capturing the Essence of Yoga on Film

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Ron Fricke, director of ‘Samsara’
Mark Magidson, producer of ‘Samsara’
Jahnava Hausner, producer of ‘Women of Bhakti’
Pete Hoffman, winemaker at Aum Wine Cellars and featured in ‘Aum: You Are What You Drink’

Featured Music:
Cebu, Michael Stearns
Modern Life, Michael Stearns
Devaki, Karnamrita Dasi
My Body is a Temple (Krishna Murari), Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits

* * * * * * * *

happy september! happy yoga month!

i don’t know if it’s just me, but there seems to be an abundance of yoga-themed documentaries catering to the growing yoga market these days. so i decided to highlight a few of those films in this week’s episode, preferably those just hitting the market. i started scouring the internet for these new releases.

while listening to KCRW last month, i’d heard that a meditation-inspired release, ‘samsara‘, had been selected for the august screening of matt’s movies, a film series curated for an indie film-loving crowd. at that point, i knew i just HAD to feature it on the show. luckily, it was also reviewed in the september issue of LA yoga magazine, so i had the article’s author put me in touch with the filmmakers, ron fricke and mark magidson. and the rest, as they say, is history.

at around the same time, a local yoga studio hosted a screening of ‘women of bhakti‘ (which, unfortunately, i couldn’t make), so i sent a request to the filmmakers via the film’s website, and soon after, producer jahnava hausner sent a message back and said she’d be happy to talk about the film.

still in search of a third film to round out the show line-up, i happened upon a film-in-process about yoga and wine called ‘aum: you are what you drink‘ and through a combination of social media tweeting, facebooking, and emailing, i got in touch with the film production person who put me in touch with pete hoffman, the winemaker from aum wine cellars who was featured in the documentary.

the guest line-up was pretty much in place two weeks before air date, so i half expected that after i’d finalized the music (from the films’ soundtracks), it would be nothing but clear sailing from that point on.

of course, right as i was about to cue up the opening track, i discovered that the CD player was emitting strange clicking sounds. and right as i was about to switch CD players, the phone rang. my first guests were calling in while i was in mid-transfer. while i was broadcasting nothing but dead air. and in that brief moment of madness, i completely forgot what i had planned to ask them. perfect.

there was another technical glitch later on that only those listening live would’ve heard: i thought i was playing music from my laptop but all that was coming out was dead silence. and just as i was about to troubleshoot the cause of the problem, my next guests called in on a conference call… and their phone connection was likewise problematic! thank god for lewis victor, another DJ who happened to be in the studio at the time; he figured out the solution to the sound problem while i tried to resolve the phone problem. and thank god for audio editing tools, because none of that ended up on the podcast! my apologies, though, to brandon ross, one of the producers of  ‘aum‘, who had to drop off the conference call just so pete hoffman and i could hear each other well enough for the interview.

and in one last instance of where-did-i-leave-my-brain-today, i forgot to intro the closing track of the show, which came from the soundtrack to ‘women of bhakti’. so here it is, belatedly — it’s ‘my body is a temple’ by gaura vani & as kindred spirits.

to give you a better idea of the films themselves, here are links to their trailers…

‘samsara’ – produced by mark magidson, directed by ron fricke, musical direction by michael stearns and mark magidson

‘women of bhakti’ – written and produced by jahnava hausner, cinematography by hillary tapper

‘aum: you are what you drink’ – produced by reading in the dark productions


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