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Monday, July 16, 2007

why yoga?

being "in rehab" appears to be the current pastime of choice for many celebs -- lindsay, nicole, britney, to name a few. and even i, a celebrity in my own mind, can claim to have spent some time of my own in rehab (for my knee and not for substance abuse). imagine that; me, a trendsetter! :)

and while there are doubts whether their rehab has done (or will do) anything to stop them from self-destructing, i know that my stint in rehab -- that is, through physical therapy and yoga -- has definitely healed my disability.

i started physical therapy almost immediately after my accident to help strengthen the muscles surrounding my severely weakened knee joint. and i continued it for months after surgery. once my orthopedic surgeon, my physical therapist, and i were convinced that i was fully functional again, i stopped going to PT. case closed. patient discharged.

i started yoga a few months after surgery and, in conjunction with the PT, it offered me more flexibility and muscle tone. and as time went on, i also found that i had gotten stronger. even my posture had improved. but unlike PT, i couldn't stop once i was given the go-ahead to return to my usual activity. i had gotten hooked.

and i keep wondering: why? why do i keep finding myself back at yoga class, over and over again, when i could easily be spending my time doing other things -- like running, for example?

is it the rush that i feel after getting through a particularly demanding class? but i can easily get that same endorphin high by running a 10K.

is it the fitness level i've achieved from all that bending, squatting, and balancing? if i spend just as much time working out at the gym, i can be just as fit.

could it be the resulting serenity, the calmness, the ability to cope more easily with stress, that has made yoga a part of my life?

or is it because i know that there's so much more about yoga that i've yet to discover, to gain from, to learn?

so what is it? why yoga?

and that's the question arthur klein has posed in his upcoming documentary, y yoga. thanks to sara and marcus levere of yogichocolate.com and dan pohnke of 4dalove.org, i attended a recent screening of this fascinating film at santa monica power yoga last saturday.

here's how klein describes y yoga in the movie's website, www.yyogamovie.com:

For 6 years it has been the film maker's journey to explore this new Western voice in Yoga through a compelling collection of different American yogic stories.

The day after 911 the filmmaker left work in the middle of the day and wandered into an afternoon yoga class. This was the begining of a journey to regain peace and well being through yoga...

"Y" captures yoga everywhere from charter schools in South Central Los Angeles (the location of the LA riots) to our soldiers in Iraq being taught Yoga For Regular Guys with world famous wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP).

"Y" documents how this ancient technology is alive and well today in the United States, spreading love and light resulting in peace and happiness for many.

the movie features interviews with many of the influential people in the local yoga scene as well as with other instructors from around the globe. if you're a westside yoga devotee like i am, you'll recognize many of the teachers, like bryan kest, ashley turner, and ally hamilton of santa monica power yoga, shiva rea, saul david raye, seane corn, hala khouri, micheline berry, and meaghan townsend of sacred movement/exhale, kathryn budig and vinnie marino of yogaworks, and gurmukh kaur khalsa of golden bridge. even dave stringer, who has his roots in the local kirtan scene, talks about how he got into yoga and why it continues to be a big part of his life.

for the entire 80+ minutes, i found myself nodding in agreement with them, happy to know that that there were many others like me who've found yoga to be an essential part of their lives.

arthur klein will be conducting pre-release screenings and q&a sessions around the country. for more information and to find out where it'll be showing next, email arthur at arthur@yyogamovie.com. and tell him that the accidental yogist sent you :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

just as a bit of an adsie it can be interesting to ask people how or why they came to yoga. Alot of yoga teachers I know started because they were pregnant and thought it was the thing to do when you get pregnent

3:35 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi bonnie --

actually, arthur did interview a student who did yoga while she was pregnant and she swears that not only did it make her feel wonderful during her pregnancy, but it also made her child happy and calm!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I came into yoga when a past girlfriend told me how much well-being it brought into her life. That was over two years ago, and I cannot imagine my life without yoga. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the movie you described.

4:07 PM  
Blogger 180360 said...

hmmm... interesting post and i will definitely look into that movie. yoga has definitely changed my life in ways that no other form of exercise has ever done!

9:24 PM  
Blogger joni said...

hi jason and "180/360" --

as far as i know, arthur's still tweaking the movie, so it may be a while before the finished product is ready. in the meantime, keep your eyes and ears open for a pre-release screening near you; he's always looking for feedback. if i hear of any coming up, i'll make sure i post it somehow...

10:40 PM  
Blogger iPracticeYoga said...

Hi all my fellow yogis, thank you for all your kind comments and interest in my film "Y" Yoga.

I will be leaving for Bryan Kest's teacher training in Mexico. I will return in early September and hope to have a community screening in middle to late September. I am still making changes to "Y" but if you want to check out a few clips they are posted:
although this website is temporary i am currently working on website and DVD release.

You can also check out


I look forward to meeting you at the next screening. Stay tuned to Joni's blog for future info.

I am also open to suggestions on where to have Sept screening.

In peace Arthur

2:11 AM  

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