Hot Doc: Yoga Inc.

A new documentary screened at the Toronto Hots Docs festival recently and was reviewed in the Globe and Mail (where I first heard of the film). Yoga Inc. is a documentary about the commoditization of yoga from a meditative practice to a fashion statement. The film follows Vancouver company LuLu Lemon in its rise to fame and riches as the company peddles yoga mats, stretchy tees, mantras and specialised tea to the masses.
Here's a review from the Hot Docs folks:
Yoga has become the West's workout of choice and with studios popping up at a Starbucks rate, there's no surprise that this spiritual sport is now a multimillion dollar industry. But chakra panties, copyrighted yoga poses and a push to include yoga in the Olympics? Surely this all flies in the face of a sacred practice that's rooted in the teachings of renunciation and the search for self-knowledge and personal freedom. Filmmaker John Philps considers the misappropriations of a tradition-cum-trend by consulting with yoga competition winners, studio owners, purist practitioners and anti-yoga entrepreneurs. To further inform his musings, he attempts to track down guru Bikram Choudhary, "the bad boy of yoga" famous for his "hot" style of yoga and infamous for suing yogi instructors who teach his trademarked postures without permission. Yoga, Inc., which promises to fascinate yoga enthusiasts and cynics alike, is an entertaining, insightful and topical anthropological examination of what happens when karma and capitalism collide.

I'm not sure when it's coming to Vancouver but if anyone catches this flick somewhere else, please let me know what you think of it. I'm quite looking forward to the expected cynicism and seeing the inner workings of a money-hungry industry capitalising on the human quest for self-fulfillment. Jerks. Pfft.

No comments:

Post a Comment