features of the documentary
LIVING YOGA: The life and teachings of Swami Satchidananda
“Swami Satchidananda enriched the lives of countless others and his efforts made a positive difference to our world and our future.”
—President and Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton
“I consider Swami Satchidananda one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time.”
Testimonial footage from
- “The Dr. Phil Show”
- “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
- “The Oprah Winfrey Show”
- “Good Morning America”
The film features archival footage from around the globe and interviews with Larry King and others who have been deeply touched by Yoga and the teachings of Swami Satchidananda. Segments with Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Mehmet Oz highlight the positive impact of Yoga practices and vegetarian lifestyle on health and wellness. Pop artist Peter Max, Felix Cavaliere (lead singer, The Rascals), Dr. Bhagavan Antle (founder, The Institute of Greatly Endangered & Rare Species), Sharon Gannon and David Life (Yoga teachers to Sting, Willem Dafoe and Russell Simmons) and Swami Asokananda (president, Integral Yoga International) are among others also interviewed.
Swami Satchidananda, a disciple of the renowned guru, Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, was known for his combination of practical wisdom and spiritual insight. He lived a life of service, demonstrating by his own example the means of finding abiding peace. Born to a devout family in South India in 1914, he gave up a personal life for a life dedicated to inner peace and spiritual knowledge. In 1966, he was invited to visit the West, where his deep spiritual realization made a profound and lasting impression.
Avant-garde filmmaker Conrad Rooks (Chappaqua, Siddhartha) first studied Yoga with Swami Satchidananda in Sri Lanka and then flew him to Paris. On the voyage back to Sri Lanka, in July 1966, Swami Satchidananda was to make a 2-day stopover in New York as a guest of Peter Max. America’s preeminent pop artist narrates stories about how he and his art friends beseeched the swami to extend his stay in New York so they could learn from him the ancient teachings of the East. To serve these sincere students, Swami Satchidananda consented. The organization founded on his teachings, Integral Yoga® International (IYI), now has more than fifty centers and offers some of the most highly respected programs for Yoga teacher certification. Integral Yoga combines various methods of Yoga that help one find the peace and joy within.
The role of spirituality in wellness and the link between inner peace and outer peace is explored in the film. Swami Satchidananda was a pioneer in the interfaith movement and promoted world peace by bringing together people of all backgrounds and beliefs so they could learn respect for all the different paths and realize their common spirit and the universality of their spiritual foundation. He built the world’s first interfaith shrine. Rev. James P. Morton (former dean of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine), Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB and Rabbi Joseph Gelberman—all leaders in the interfaith movement and close friends of Swami Satchidananda—are also interviewed.
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