--> Skip to main content

Namaste Yoga – Short Film

"Namaste Yoga" (by Ravi Chand, a film & TV producer from Melbourne, Australia) unfolds as a poignant narrative that delves into the intricate web of cultural appropriation and its impact on the self-worth of young individuals like Shiv. At the heart of the story is a 10-year-old boy who, grappling with shame about his Indian and Hindu heritage, finds himself thrust into an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

The catalyst for this transformative experience is a schoolyard fight that brings Shiv face to face with the necessity of attending mandatory lunchtime yoga classes to avoid suspension. Little does he know that these sessions, led by Miss Blanche, his home room teacher and self-proclaimed yoga "guru," will become a gateway to understanding his cultural identity.

Miss Blanche's character becomes both a vehicle for the narrative and a symbol of the cultural appropriation at play. Her well-intentioned yet misguided approach to yoga inadvertently highlights the commodification of ancient Hindu practices, stripped of their cultural and spiritual context. Through her lens, yoga becomes a trendy and exotified exercise rather than a sacred tradition.

As Shiv reluctantly participates in these classes, he grapples with conflicting emotions. On one hand, there's a sense of resentment for being forced into an activity that feels divorced from his roots. On the other hand, he begins to reconnect with his father, a yoga acharya, who has been struggling with the loss of his wife. 

The story unfolds as Shiv, with the guidance of his father, navigates the complexities of cultural appropriation and yoga a sacred Hindu practice. As he learns more about the rich history and spiritual significance of yoga, he begins to reclaim a sense of pride in his heritage. The narrative skillfully explores the broader implications of cultural appropriation, illustrating how it not only impacts individuals but also erodes the authenticity and sacredness of cultural practices.

"Namaste Yoga" is a thought-provoking exploration of identity, self-acceptance, and the importance of preserving the integrity of cultural traditions. It serves as a powerful reminder that understanding and respecting diverse cultures is crucial in fostering a world where every individual can embrace their heritage without fear of exploitation or erasure.

The film has already aired nationally on Australian TV and participated in major film festivals around the world (including two Oscar qualifying film festivals) and Maoriland (the largest Indigenous film festival in the Southern hemisphere). The film is preparing for its international release. 

You can learn more about the film and register for details about when the film will be available to watch in your area of the world here at the official website.