PHUKET: Young Spanish filmmaker and inveterate traveller Josu Ozkaritzís latest documentary project Breathing Ashtanga Yoga
was largely filmed in Phuket and features teachers and students of the popular Ashtanga Yoga style talking about the profound effect the ancient discipline has had on their lives.
Josu has worked on a number of self-funded film projects and stumbled across the idea to do a film on Ashtanga yoga when he met his Chilean girlfriend Carol Milstein, who is an experienced Ashtanga and Yin yoga practitioner and teacher.
After arriving in Phuket they noticed yogaís popularity on the island and this was the inspiration for the film. It examines the fascinating tradition of Ashtanga and its origin but also on the stories of the people who practice it here in Phuket. For this reason, yoga practitioners and professionals will find this film interesting. But the film goes beyond that.
"The documentary itself is not only about yoga, itís about how the whole rhythm of the world, the fast pace that we all live at, causes a lot of stress for people. This is why I think it will appeal to audiences in general as this hectic lifestyle affects us all nowadays," said Josu.
"Many people have found yoga [and have used it to] get away from this fast pace of life, as a way to relax and connect to themselves," he adds.
The documentary includes interviews with teachers and students of Ashtanga yoga who tell how the both the physical and mental practices of yoga have helped them improve their well-being.
"Some people were working regular jobs, and once they found yoga, it just captured them and changed their whole lifestyle," says Josu.
"One teacher from the US used to work in the finance industry in New York, so you can imagine the kind of lifestyle he was living. He found himself doing a lot of sport to try to disconnect from this lifestyle and then he found yoga and got more and more into it and now he teaches yoga for a living, so it changed his life," said Josu.
The importance of questioning commonly held materialistic values is one of the most important messages Josu says he wanted to get across in the film.
"Itís not only focused on yoga, but whole health. Sure, it is important to keep yourself fit, but the other message is not to get too caught up in this materialistic world, and what we see in television commercials. They are leading people away from personal relationships and now itís all about iPads and cell phones and computers.
"Yoga helps people connect with themselves and others again. They get to know themselves better and realize what really matters in life," he adds.
Having filmed and edited the self-funded, low-budget film, Josh is now hoping to find a venue to host its premiere here in Phuket.
"I would like to hold a free premiere here in Phuket where most of the film was shot. So if I can find any place that can host a screening, so other yoga fans and anyone who wants to see it can come, that would be fantastic," he said.Tomorrow (Saturday August 17) the premiere of the documentary BREATHING ASHTANGA YOGA will be held at Sukko Spa at 11am. Entry is free and all are welcome.
This article first appeared in the current issue (August 10-16) of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers may download the full newspaper, this week and every week, by clicking here.
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