This documentary takes a fascinating look into the life of one of yoga’s best-known teachers, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Jois is credited with promoting the approach to yoga associated with the region of Mysore, located in southern India. He exemplifies the concept of the guru, a tradition that has existed in India for millennia. Loosely translated, guru means, “teacher or bringer of light.” Documentary filmmaker Robert Wilkins travels to India to study with Jois, and they record an unprecedented view of the relationship between guru and student. 

A recent devotee to the practice of yoga, Wilkins bases his film on what he sees as a growing trend in the West, which is seeking a guru. As we are bombarded with information via the Internet and media, we are becoming less able to cope with the mixed messages we are receiving. He feels there is a significant segment of the population seeking guidance from new sources in order to reconcile the messages we receive from our inner selves and those we absorb from our environment.

The interviews in the film provide a glimpse into the magnetic personality of this guru who has drawn thousands of people to India to learn from him. His frankness and insight into the relationship between himself and his students is presented honestly without frills or staging. The film has a natural quality that draws the viewer in and gives a sincere taste of what it is like to study in the presence of such a teacher.

The interactions between Jois and his senior students show the unique dynamic that the guru tradition presents and provides objective insight for those whom the concept of guru is shrouded in mystery or ignorance. Certainly worth seeing, this DVD makes a positive addition to the library of any yogi and particularly any ashtangi seeking a glimpse into the mind of a masters.

Read next >> art aids art’s work in south africa