Netflix Fest!

I had my first day off in over a month the other day and instead of being productive, like I normally am, I watched comedies and documentaries!  Loads of them.  A handful were worth sharing, so if you have Netflix, these badboys are streaming:

Stand-up giggles:  Zach Galifinakis, Anjelah Johnson, and Eddie Izzard.  ‘Nuf said.

(So, I haven’t seen any of of the Mad TV episodes Anjelah Johnson appears on – from what I hear this standup is more of a re-mash of all her old characters, so nothing new or impressive in that regard.  But hey, I got a good giggle out of it.)

Documentaries Galore

The Dhamma Brothers

This heartfelt documentary made me even more proud to be a part of the Vipassana community.  Check out a group of inmates at a high-security prison in ‘Bama discuss their ups and downs on a ten-day mediation sitting.  Dudes, I can relate – my ten days were personally epic as well!

Forks Over Knives

Could this be the first generation in the United States that lives a shorter life than their parents?

Food as medicine … the power of a healthy diet … and be prepared, they’re talking about a plant-based diet.  What stood out most in this documentary were the numbers regarding disease and obesity in the States.  I wanted to hear more about studies done on plant-based diets.  The China Study is cited in a vague way.  Sure, people who live in cities that eat meat have higher cancer rates, consistently, throughout the country.  But are there other factors that are correlated here?

It would be damn near impossible, but how powerful would a longitudinal study be, properly done with controls and whatnot, in communicating the power of vegan?

Personally, I’d have a hard time giving up cheese, ice cream and fish.  But as I sit here typing, I’m on day three of my “Digestion Holiday” – and feel lusciously light and energized.  Same benefits as the last one I did, before the year abroad, and already I’m feeling the benefits.

This little petri dish does indeed appreciate the whole/veggie menu in spurts … now, to make it a longterm choice … after seeing this?  Never say never!

Enlighten Up!

This was an interesting idea, to send a semi-beginning yoga student out on a mission to progress spiritually in a matter of 6 months.  The director and main subject attend classes with some of NYC’s most renowned teachers (including one of mine, Dharma Mittra!) – and then make their way to Cali, Hawaii and India.  Funny, educational, and well-edited, for sure – though I would have described much of the history of yoga differently …

The director/narrator clearly chose her subject based on his likeability in front of the camera (he’s not too harsh on the eyes, that’s for sure), and the fact that he’s a journalist himself was probably a big draw as well.  Journos usually have a way with words, making the overall film a lot more intriguing.  Unfortunately, the main character doesn’t come up with many pearls of wisdom on his search – and who can blame him?  Six months?  In the beginning, six months hardly means a thing.  You’re just getting to know your body at that point!

It was also somewhere in between “entertaining” and “appalling” to see how little some of these rock star yoga teachers actually know about yoga’s history.  It is possible to engage in academic reading on the subject, and it doesn’t make you any less of a yogi!  Sure, the power of belief is strong, but yoga is a practice that encourages constant scrutiny, of everything, your thoughts, your motivations, your actions, and the context in which all that you do exists.  Facts may not be the most important thing on most paths of yoga, but jnanis would mos definitely argue to the contrary.  In any case, if you’ve been teaching something for decades, wouldn’t you want to know about where it came from?

The trip to India was clearly the big turning point in the subject’s development, a phenomenon I can attest to, hands in the air!  They get in nice interviews with Iyengar and Jois, very modern yoga leaders, one of which has not moved on to the next level of existence.  The guru he chats with at the end is lovable, honest, and vague enough to let you figure it all out for yourself.  I might just have to find him on the next trip … 🙂


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