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Filmmakers of Must-See ‘Who Owns Yoga?’ Raising Funds To Release Feature Film

in Business of Yoga, YD News


We called it a ‘must-see’ back when it was a 48-minute TV special on Al Jazeera English, and now they’re set on making it into a full feature film. The original “Who Owns Yoga?” which aired last fall, takes a look at the origins of yoga, but goes beyond, expanding and fast forwarding to how and why we practice today, exploring “the changing nature of yoga in modern society, the innovations and hybridizations, and the challenges of commercialization.”

In under an hour, the team of journalist Bhanu Bhatnagar, along with filmmakers Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton, were able to cover a vast scope of the many branches modern yoga has splintered into as it continues to grow even more popular. The 90-minute version will go even further in-depth with interviews as well as digging into yoga’s evolution and future.

Here’s what the filmmakers have to say about the decision to extend into a feature film and why they’ve created a kickstarter campaign to help in finishing it.

The subject was so vast and the characters we spoke to so compelling, we realized there is a need for a longer and more comprehensive film. And we want as many people as possible to see it, which we feel we can accomplish by having it screened at film festivals and other locations internationally.

The filming is done, and now we are focused on editing all of that material into a 90-minute version. We will use the money raised on Kickstarter to pay for the editing, post-production and festival submission fees.

In the 90 minute film, we are creating extended scenes as well as adding new scenes that we didn’t have space to include in the shorter television version. You will meet new characters who talk about the spiritual aspects of yoga, as well as the rise of the yoga selfie and an obsession with the body beautiful. We also explore Indian identity and yoga culture in the west. Plus special appearances from Russell Brand and Deepak Chopra.

“It’s probably the most interesting, wide-ranging and cohesive reflection of today’s yoga we’ve seen put together for a news network or otherwise” is what we said about “Who Owns Yoga?” TV piece at the time, so, yeah, it’s a pretty interesting bit of filmmaking, and yoga. (Hint: If you haven’t already watched it, take < an hour out and view it online here.) A feature-length film that will end up hitting festival circuits is certainly intriguing.

Read more about the film at the Who Owns Yoga? kickstarter campaign page.

Here’s their campaign video:

image via kickstarter



3 comments… add one
  • This looks fascinating! It will be interesting to see the many perspectives. Very cool, thanks.

  • I watched the TV special and agree that it was well done and well worth the watch. I am not sure why the need for a full length film version. It seemed just right to me.

  • Lanre Ayanlowo

    Hello. Can you help me raise fund?

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