Yoga Bears
Enlighten Up
Review by Ross Anthony

I love the title. Not only does it grab your attention, but it very nicely represents the documentary. This is not some serious convert-minded, new-age piece of propaganda. Rather, it's a pleasure in its open-mindedness. If you're up for a safe, light, skeptic's look into the many variations of modern yoga, take a peek.

Filmmaker Kate Churchill explains the premise, she's a convert to yoga, but challenges a skeptical, yet game-enough "non-believer" to take a six month journey into yoga in the West and East. She's chosen a good subject for the experiment: an easy-going just-the-facts-ma'am journalist with a lawyer father and hippy mother. Seems the bias should be balanced. It's her hypothesis that the magic of yoga will win him over. But as he yoga-class hops across the globe with the enthusiasm of a distractable eighth-grader, her frustration with him and the experiment sometimes makes it to the screen. This is an interesting sideshow to the main event and I applaud the editors for leaving it in. That said, neither do they exploit it, nor is it some mammoth TMZ type altercation. It's real, it's natural, and it's interesting to watch how they handle themselves.

The bigger story though, is the anecdotal social experiment. Of course, scientifically, nothing could be proven, whether he's converted or not -- the results of a sample of one are not very resounding statistically. Sure, but the experiment itself is noble, curious, fun, thought-provoking and dare I say inspirational in its own right. Sadly, it seems, the honorable search for deeper meaning in this material world has become something too often pushed aside as odd, freaky, cultish etc. It's absolutely refreshing to see it portrayed here with due skepticism, humor, and sincere curiosity.

My favorite bit of dialogue from the movie:
"I'm not a spiritual person."
"If you raise your spirits, if you raise the spirits of others, then you're a spiritual person."

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-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Enlighten Up. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Nick Rosen. Directed by Kate Churchill.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 24-Apr-2009 15:50:54 PDT