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No teacher has had a bigger impact on modern yoga than B.K.S Iyengar–which is why filmmakers and Iyengar practitioners Lindsey Clennell and Jake Clennell want to make a film that will document Iyengar’s contributions. To help with the effort, they’re raising money through a crowd sourcing campaign to fund the last phase of the project.
“Many teachers have done good work, but every generation someone comes along who has enormous influence. B.K.S. Iyengar, through his direct teaching, through his teachers, through his books and through his example of focused devotion to yoga practice, has had an enormous influence on the subject,” Lindsey Clennell told Buzz. “In years to come, people will want to know what this man was like. In one way it’s a film for them.”
B.K.S. Iyengar, the 94-year-old founder of Iyengar Yoga and the subject of the film, has written many important books on yoga including Light on Yoga, and made yoga accessible to the masses by introducing the use of props to help students find proper alignment. The documentary, which will be called Sadhaka: The Yoga of BKS Iyengar, will give viewers a glimpse into what has made his teachings so substantial.
Lindsey Clennell, who is executive producer of the film, is a Senior Iyengar teacher who has studied with Iyengar since 1975. Jake Clennell, who is the director and Lindsey’s son, took his first trip to Pune when he was five and has also studied extensively with Iyengar. Both are award-winning filmmakers.
Lindsey groups Iyengar with other historic figures from India such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo. “I think it is reasonable to put Iyengar in that group, because in a way he has given something that was missing in the inspiration and knowledge that the others gave: a starting point for ordinary people to understand the practice of yoga.”
While the Clennell family has seen first-hand how Iyengar has transformed lives (Bobby Clennell, Lindsey’s wife and Jake’s mother, is also a Senior Iyengar teacher), Lindsey says one of the biggest challenges is showing the depth of the teachings through an engaging and entertaining film. Something they will do through interviews, footage of Iyengar teaching, and showing the impact Iyengar has had on his students’ lives.
They need $120,000 to finish editing the film, half of which they are trying to raise through an Indiegogo campaign. They estimate the film, which will be 90 minutes long, will be complete by Spring of 2014. To watch the trailer and for more information visit sadhakafilm.com.