Revisiting the spiritual, mental and physical practice of Yoga through the seminal 1977 film Samadhi showcases The founder of Iyengar Yoga - B.K.S Iyengar’s teaching his students the skilled fluidity of completing asanas. According to the wild yogi’s website, “Indian documentary “Samadhi” about BKS Iyengar Ramamani Yoga Institute in Pune in 1977. (Named after his wife Ramamani).” The documentary shot by Professor John Sankaramangalam in black and white shows us the many hurdles and successes of Iyengar’s skill of teaching yoga and his many students journey’s as well.
According to the Los Angeles Times, what truly distinguishes Iyenger is his “therapeutic approach to the poses. Iyengar devised specific prescriptions, or sequences of poses, to help people with ailments such as backache, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes and many more.” Iyengar also tells the Los Angeles Times why he focused on aiding these specific areas, “I started working with my own body,” he said, referring to the oft-told story of his childhood afflictions with influenza, malaria and tuberculosis. “What if I became invalid, or lost my mind or my leg?” he asked. “I created the props for my own selfish purpose. I used my body as a scientific lab to master the asanas [poses].” Widely, yoga is known for soothing the body and stabilizing our breath; it also focuses, maybe even more so, on our minds. How we facilitate our human selves within the wider world as deeper conscious beings that need rigorous practice to be in balance with our bodies and our minds is a widely perpetuated thought in yoga. ‘Samadhi’ as a fifteen-minute film encapsulates this process of learning, practising and perfecting with the aid Iyengar’s teaching and through Professor Sankaramangalam’s cinematic perspective.
You can watch the entire film here.
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