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Enlighten Up!

Just caught the trailer for an upcoming documentary which looks pretty cool: Enlighten Up!. Here’s the blurb:

Filmmaker Kate Churchill is determined to prove that yoga can transform anyone. Nick Rosen is skeptical but agrees to be her guinea pig. Kate immerses Nick in yoga, and follows him around the world as he examines the good, the bad and the ugly of yoga. The two encounter celebrity yogis, true believers, kooks and world-renowned gurus. Tensions run high as Nick’s transformational progress lags and Kate’s plan crumbles. What unfolds and what they discover is not what they expected.

And here’s the trailer:

Beyond being an interesting look at the world of yoga, it also seems to offer a fascinating story about the juxtaposition of skeptical, ‘fact’-oriented thinking, and Eastern mysticism. The film features yoga legend B.K.S. Iyengar, which might be worth the price of admission alone.

Editor
  1. Transformation
    What do we mean when we say “Yoga can transform anyone”.

    What is the nature of that transformation? how do we measure it?

    They give yoga classes at the gym I—rarely— attend. I seriously doubt those 30-something young executives are taking those classes because they’re seeking enlightenment.

    There is this guy that has a TV program here in Mexico. He has become something of a celebrity; and if you click this link, you’ll probably figure out why 🙂

    I remember reading recently here in TDG a story Rick posted about an initiative to copyright the yoga positions, because the Indian government thought the West was ripping them off and profiting from their ancient tradition. So it’s sad to think that even they think yoga is meant to be used to make money 🙁
    —–
    It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
    It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

    Red Pill Junkie

    1. Yoga
      [quote=red pill junkie]
      I remember reading recently here in TDG a story Rick posted about an initiative to copyright the yoga positions, because the Indian government thought the West was ripping them off and profiting from their ancient tradition. [/quote]

      It’s not a suspicion, but fact. American individuals and companies are patenting traditional Indian knowledge. From this article:

      The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories, and 2315 yoga trademarks.

      Alarmed at American companies trying to patent Indian products such as turmeric, basmati rice, “neem” (from the Margosa tree), and other naturally occurring Indian medicines and foods, the Government set up a taskforce in 2002 to catalogue traditional knowledge.

      One of India’s most well-known yoga gurus, Swami Ramdev, sums it up:

      “Yoga is not a commodity like cars or biscuits. You can’t own it or sell it like a service.”

      And New Delhi yoga instructor Navtej Johar sums up why the Indian government is apalled at the patenting of traditional knowledge. “You can patent inventions but not knowledge. A genuine lover of yoga would want it to spread to as many people as possible.”

      I agree, it is absolutely despicable that individuals and companies are monopolising traditional knowledge for profit — it should be shared, for free.

        1. Whoa… my condolences Perceval
          Seems your uncle is something of an [censored] unpleasant gentleman :-/

          But hey, it seems it turned out well in the end. From the Wikipedia page:

          In September 1997, a Texas company called RiceTec won a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,663,484) on “basmati rice lines and grains.” The patent secures lines of basmati and basmati-like rice and ways of analyzing that rice. RiceTec, owned by Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein, faced international outrage over allegations of biopiracy. It had also caused a brief diplomatic crisis between India and United States with India threatening to take the matter to WTO as a violation of TRIPS which could have resulted in a major embarrassment for the United States.[2] Both voluntarily and due to review decisions by the United States Patent Office, RiceTec has lost most of the claims of the patent, including, most importantly, the right to call their rice lines “basmati.” This was a huge victory for Indian farmers who could have faced enormous economic losses from the patent.

          —–
          It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
          It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

          Red Pill Junkie

          1. He’s a nice guy, actually.
            He’s a nice guy, actually. Somewhat wedded to capitalism though, I suspect!

            ——

            I don’t believe in belief!

            Perceval

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