The Birth of the Modern Yoga Movement and Its Impact on the World Chronicled in a New Documentary Film

Living Yoga Movie

Swami Satchidananda was one of the first Yoga masters to bring the classical Yoga tradition to the West after he was invited to America in 1966 by Pop artist icon Peter Max. His contributions to the world through Yoga are brought to light in

LIVING YOGA: The life and teachings of Swami Satchidananda

The film features archival footage from around the globe and interviews with Larry King and others who have been deeply touched by Yoga and the teachings of Swami Satchidananda. 

About the film

Living Yoga: The life and teachings of Swami Satchidananda How the ancient teachings of Yoga were brought to the West and the farreaching effects on society of the modern Yoga movement is a story told for the first time on film in an hourlong documentary that informs, entertains and provokes selfinquiry.

Yoga is over 5000 years old, yet is relatively new to Americans. Just forty years ago, the philosophy and practices of asanas (Yoga postures) that originated in India were initially popularized in the United States. Swami Satchidananda was one of the first Yoga masters to bring the classical Yoga tradition to the West. He taught Yoga postures to Americans and introduced them to meditation and a vegetarian and more compassionate lifestyle after he was invited to America in 1966 by the iconic pop artist Peter Max. During this period of cultural awakening, a small circle of Peter Max’s artist friends beseeched the swami to extend what was supposed to be a brief stop in New York City so they could learn from him the secret of finding physical, mental and spiritual health, peace and enlightenment. Three years later, he led some half a million American youth in chanting OM, when he delivered the official opening remarks at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival, and he became known as “the Woodstock guru.” The distinctive teachings he brought with him blend the physical discipline of Yoga, the spiritual philosophy of Vedantic literature and the interfaith ideals he pioneered. These techniques and concepts influenced a generation and spawned a Yoga culture that is flourishing today.

Today, an estimated twenty million Americans practice Yoga as a means for managing stress, promoting health, slowing down the aging process and creating a more meaningful life. The teachings of Swami Satchidananda have spread into the mainstream and thousands of people now teach Yoga. You can buy Yoga gear (or mats) at Target, pick up Yoga for Dummies at the local library and catch some Yoga moves on television and in classes offered at spas, health clubs, community centers and offices of major corporations.

Yoga has been instrumental in:

  • Medical therapy applications and breakthroughs proven by Dr. Dean Ornish to reverse heart disease (new studies in prostrate cancer underway)
  • Improvement in grades, attitude, focus, flexibility and adaptability of children, including those with special needs
  • Peacemaking efforts and bringing people of all faiths together in respect and appreciation for the unity within our diversity.

These breakthroughs in consciousness and others areas brought to light in LIVING YOGA: The life and teachings of Swami Satchidananda, a film written and coproduced by Joshua M. Greene and directed and coproduced by Shiva Kumar.  

Watch the Trailer

Living Yoga features testimonial footage from:

  • Dr. Dean Ornish
  • Dr. Mehmet Oz highlights the positive impact of Yoga practices and vegetarian lifestyle on health and wellness.
  • Pop artist Peter Max
  • Felix Cavaliere (lead singer, The Rascals),
  • Dr. Bhagavan Antle (founder, The Institute of Greatly Endangered & Rare Species),
  • Sharon Gannon and David Life (Yoga teachers to Sting, Willem Dafoe and Russell Simmons)
  • Swami Asokananda (president, Integral Yoga International) are among others also interviewed.

About the Film Makers


Shiva Kumar

Shiva Kumar

Director, Co-Producer

Shiva Kumar director has worked in commercial, documentary and corporate filmmaking for over 20 years. His award winning programs have been seen on PBS, The Disney Channel, the BBC, Israeli Cable, Canal Plus (France), RAI (Italy) and NHK (Japan).

Shiva’s productions are informed by his diverse background as an actor, newscaster, reporter and student of world cultures and his keen understanding of cinematography, lighting, emerging HD technologies and good production design.

Shiva Kumar is a former senior vice president of media at Ruder Finn and a former executive producer for The Story Channel at Cablevision. He is an adjunct professor of film and video production at Long Island University, Borough of Manhattan Community College and Brooklyn College.

Joshua M. Greene

Joshua M. Greene

Writer, Co-Producer

Joshua M. Greene has been described by the New York Times as a storyteller who traces journeys to enlightenment. He teaches mysticism at Hofstra University and Bhagavad Gita at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York. His books on journeys through the Holocaust period have been adapted to film for PBS and Discovery.

His most recent book is the bestselling biography, Here Comes the Sun: The spiritual journey of George Harrison (John Wiley & Sons), which traces the late Beatle’s evolution from entertainer to spiritual seeker. Mr. Greene spent thirteen years in ashrams across India and Europe and now serves as adviser and mediator to religious organizations in the New York area.


Produced by
Joshua M. Gre ene and Shiva Kumar

Directed by
Shiva Kumar

Script by
Joshua M . Greene

Executive Producer
Prem Anjali

Original Music Composed
and Produced by

Patrick Grant

Musicians and Vocals
Godfrey Townsend
Steve Murphy
John Fer rari
Don Vitsentz os


Cinematography and Editing
Shiva Kumar

Lighting and Sound
Shiva Kumar

Production Assistants
Sarik Kumar
Jonathan Fo carino

Post Production
Silver Arc Produc tions

Title Sequence
Shiva Kumar
Brody Hartma n

Starfield Graphics
Mechanism Digital

Audio Engineer
Jocelyn Gonzale s

Dr. Bhaga van Antle
Prakash Shakti Cap en
William Greaves
Peter and Deepa McNulty
Swami Vidyananda

Satchidananda Ashram Archives
Sr. Maitreyi Chaitanya
Sadasivam Greenston e
Swami Priyaananda
Swami Sharadanand a
Swami Suddhananda
Swami Vidyananda

Footage and Photographs Courtesy of
Rev. Prem Anjali
Beatles in Rishik esh© Paul Saltzman.
Bella Morte, Gopal Metro
Suzanne BryantCunha
Chappaqua courtesy Ale xander Rooks, Lotus Films
The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh
“The Dr. Phil Show”
Lakshmi Fjord
“Good Morning America”
“Gurus”: A CTVC Produc tion, UK, Ray Bruce (producer)
Yvonne Gita Hanneman

Many ways to receive Swami Satchidananda's Wisdom:

Golden Present App

Daily teachings from Swami Satchidananda
right on your phone

The Daily Guru App

The Daily Guru is an inspirational app based on quotes by Swami Satchidananda

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Email: [email protected]