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Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Thirty million Americans and countless millions worldwide have taken up a practice that is transforming their lives. Follow filmmaker Suzanne Bryant as she meets with the most prominent Yoga Gurus and teachers in the west and travels to India to explore the power of this ancient practice. Along the way she discovers what YOGA IS.

This is the story of a woman who thought she had it all ...until she lost her beloved mother to cancer. Trying to process and understand her profound grief, Suzanne embarked on a journey and turned to a deeper practice of yoga.

Suzanne's journey led her to India on a spiritual quest to learn more about this powerful ancient practice. She studied yoga and Ayurveda in Kerala, Ashtanga Yoga with Pattabhis Jois and his daughter Saraswati, met with Guru Neem Karoli Baba s son in Vrindavan to learn about Bhakti yoga and came face to face with a near death experience herself. While in India, something had shifted within her, the light had returned.

Inspired by her experience in India, she returned back to the U.S. to explore what yoga means to the West and how it can transform lives. Suzanne met with the most prominent western Yoga Gurus and teachers as well as celebrity yoga devotees Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington, musician Michael Franti and Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman in search for the answers that unite us all. Answers to questions such as Love, Truth, Happiness, Purpose, The Now, our Dark and Light , Empowerment, Karma, Enlightenment, Transformation and so much more. What she found was something wonderful: a path that can enable anyone to transform suffering and experience daily peace and happiness.

About the Director

Suzanne Bryant is a former journalist from NYC. She attended NYU for journalism and worked for Producer George Crile at 60 Minutes II. While living in NYC she took up a daily yoga practice to deal with her anxiety a bi product or so she thought of living amongst metropolis.This daily practice of yoga would be the beginning of a journey. Although she had been practicing yoga, taking her first class in 1991, it was her daily experience of yoga in 1998 that would be the beginning of a transformation.

After noticing the powerful effects of calming her mind, clarity about her life began to reveal itself. She enrolled in a 500 hour teacher training with Alan Finger of Ishta Yoga in NYC in 2000 while still working in journalism. A phone call would change her life. She learned of her mother's breast cancer diagnosis. She left NY to come back to San Francisco to be with her mother, believing she would return at some point. The illness became terminal and the one thing Suzanne found strength to deal with the reality of her dying mother was yoga.

Yoga had been a blessing in her life in NYC, but now she had to find a way of staying present and being supportive in a reality she did not want to be facing. Yoga became like a best friend, that no mater what she faced in the day, would make her feel stronger and peaceful after the practice. It was like magic.

After her mothers passing she decided to explore more deeply this mysterious ancient practice of yoga. She embarked on a journey looking for answers. This journey led her to India the birthplace of yoga where she studied Ashtanga Yoga with Pattabhis Jois and his daughter Saraswati, Bhakti Yoga and the teachings of Guru Neem Karoli Baba with scholar Syham Das in Vrindavan, India as well as Yoga and Ayurveda in the South of India, Kerala with Shiva Rea.

After a near death experience in India, she was further determined explore this practice and set out to interview many of the most prominent yoga Teachers in the west as well as some high profile celebrities Russell Simmons and Christy Turlington Burns, musician Michael Franti and Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman in search of what YOGA IS.

Suzanne is forever grateful for the profound transformation she has experienced in how yoga has revealed her truth and given her a sense of purpose and immense happiness. She shares what she has learned by teaching yoga, making conscious films and also went back to school for a Masters in Spiritual Psychology and Nutrition. She has a private wellness practice with clients in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles working in many modalities to transform lives and help people connect to their health and happiness. With her passion and knowledge of yoga Suzanne also teaches yoga privately and to groups and is excited to launch yoga and wellness retreats worldwide, helping one soul at a time to tranforrm the world into a more happy place.

Special Features

  • Additional interviews with Ana Forrest, Christy Turlington Burns, Dharma Mittra, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Sharon Gannon/David Life, Michael Franti, Krsihna Das, MC Yogi, Russell Simmons, & Gurmukh
  • Film Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington-Burns, Michael Franti, Sharon Gannon, David Life
  • Directors: Suzanne Bryant
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B9JTXG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
This is a generally positive, light movie. I am pretty easy to please with movies though. I rented it the first time while I had a mountain of laundry to fold lol, and was happy with it. Never expected to rent it again, but I found myself as weeks went by, wanting to remember what a certain yogi had said in the film, so I rented it again. Then the same thing happened again, and again lol. For me, the greatest value of this movie is most definitely all the insightful interviews with a variety of yoga experts. I really appreciated all of their comments. For me, Suzanne's personal story is simply a means to weaving all those in, and I'm grateful for it. I have recently started practicing and learning more about yoga and was interested in watching something more on the "spiritual" side of yoga at the time. I read some of the negative reviews on this and I can see where most of them are coming from, but those same things, even though I recognized them, just didn't bother me so I guess it's going to be up to each individual as to whether they are irritated by small things in the film or just pleased by the overall positive. I personally am very glad she made the film :). I enjoyed it.
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I have no personal experience with or knowledge of Yoga other than having heard the word. What caught my eye was the tagline "A Transformational Journey," a path of self-exploration I have been experiencing and enjoying for decades. "Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey" was informative, insightful, and filled with familiar but fresh perspectives that will occupy my mind during both quiet and noisy moments. The film had a feel like a reality version of "Eat, Pray, Love" but with more substance and encouragement. Now I'm curious about Yoga and want to share the film with my wife. If like me you have no exposure to Yoga but you enjoy films like "What The Bleep Do We Know," you'll enjoy this film too.
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Format: Amazon Video
The interviews with various yogis were well done and insightful. However, the lead character on her personal journey traveling to various countries for the interviews, comes off as shallow, conceited, and and certainly not worthy of such access to the gurus. You get the feeling she had to pay them a decent sum to entertain her for awhile. It could have been much better with a less selfish and simple minded interviewer.
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Format: DVD
This is a movie that has been done with great care and is worth every penny you pay for it. It will inspire anyone that is at least curious for the extraordinary benefits that Yoga has to offer. Gian Paolo Girardi
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A great movie about a transformation experience. If you like Yoga, I recommend it and if you aren't so much into Yoga, I still recommend it as it takes you through a personal journey of a young woman who faces a personal loss in her life and how she deals with it. I am fascinated by people who make great changes out of crisis and challenges.
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Seeing their advanced yoga positional abilities falls into: Don't try this at home without a lot of instruction and practice. I gained a new powerful appreciation for the body I live in.

Frankie Schelly
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I've been doing yoga for a while and this week I have had free time to watch some yoga documentaries. This one had great reviews so I decided to rent it.

To start with positive, Suzanne does a great job narrating and pulling emotion into the documentary. She has many well-known yogis in the film that offer differing perspectives of yoga that all somehow lead to a center on enlightenment or God.

What I don't like is how slow this felt. A lot of times, Suzanne would narrate over a scene with her talking to a yogi. I'd rather have listened to the raw discussion. There were times (near the end) where we would see a lot of visual elements that were computer-driven while she was talking about events that had happened. Perhaps she couldn't bring the camera into those events, but I felt a little deprived of seeing the scene.

To end on a positive, I feel more aware of the mental side of yoga and its benefits. Although I do not seek a connection with any god through yoga, I can appreciate those who are able to do so.
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Format: Amazon Video
Its Very nice ! The documentary makes you take a pause from the mad rat race and pushes you to think about difficult questions of life...Thank you very much.
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