ABOUT

AGNIYOGANA is a meditative inquiry into the lost art of classical Hatha Yoga. Offering an experiential collage of action and stillness, light and darkness, sound and silence, AGNIYOGANA explores the richness of traditional Hatha Yoga teachings.

AGNIYOGANA takes the viewer on a journey through time and space to rediscover the inner dimensions of Hatha Yoga and the true meaning of “yuj,”(yoga).

Our documentary film begins with a visual and aural initiation. The journey inward then explores the key requirements of Hatha Yoga: Firmness of mind; the importance of faith; the necessity of a qualified teacher; skillful moderation; the methods to restrain the senses; and the practice of universal equanimity.

Throughout the film we examine the microcosm of the internal self in relation to the macrocosm of the elements, seasons, time of day, and other external forces of nature. The narrative is woven together through commentary, wisdom, and insight from those who continue to uphold and live by the ancient ways of yoga. Throughout, AGNIYOGANA offers rarely seen glimpses of traditional Hatha Yoga practices as expressed by modern day yogins.

AGNIYOGANA is a meditation.

Director’s Statement

AGNIYOGANA, the film’s title, refers to the yoking of one’s own inner fire. This inner fire is what transmutes and transforms every living being so they may become more fully awake, vibrant, and alive.

The commentary on the Vedas known as the Satapatha Brahmana states: Then…when about to speak the morning prayer, he yokes the fire altar…and when yoked, he obtains all wishes.” (9:4:4:1). So how does one yoke the fire to obtain our wishes for ourselves and humanity? This question is the basis for my lifelong inquiry into Hatha Yoga.

As I studied the classical texts and systems of Hatha Yoga, and travelled the globe meeting those who were adept in the traditional forms, I saw the great potential of a film that illuminated the holistic practices of Hatha Yoga through the words and experience of authentic practitioners.

We needed to go back to the roots. To reveal these traditional practices to others so they may be remembered and once again shared with a world in need. To light the fire of inquiry in the next generation of spiritual aspirants.

The tagline of AGNIYOGANA, “Lower the Head and Invoke the Fire,” is an invitation to bow to the fire within each of us. 

Emma Balnaves, April 2019

Dr. Robert Svoboda
Dr. Robert SvobodaAuthor, Speaker, Teacher and Practitioner of Ayurveda, Jyotish, Tantra and allied subjects
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“Control of fire is what makes us human, and yoking that fire judiciously is what permits us to transcend our human limitations. The many varieties of yoga all entail transmutation of our inner fire. As today’s world relentlessly commodifies everything it touches, including yoga, the need for reminders of what yoga really is, and how it can transform lives in our urban jungles, becomes ever more critical. Fortunately, as this film illustrates, genuine traditions still exist, and serious individuals still follow them, as can anyone who is willing to invest the time and energy to awaken and cultivate the fire within.”
Namarupa
NamarupaCategories of Indian Thought
Read More
There are many films about Hatha yoga— how is your film different? The idea of making this film evolved over the last ten years as I witnessed widespread confusion growing around the term ‘Yoga’, and how increased commercial pressure and was leading to slow degeneration of the practices taught in its name. I saw the great potential of a film that illuminated yoga’s original traditions and holistic practices through the words and experiences of authentic practitioners.
Carole Migalka
Carole Migalka@carole_migalka
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“Forty-four million posts showing varied states of acrobatics and gymnastics symbolise a steady decline of the term yoga. Worship of external achievement has the word tacked on to everything from aerial to paddleboard and the name "Hatha Yoga" confused with a style rather than a science.”
Shri Sahajananda
Shri SahajanandaBased on’ Shri Sahajananda’s Hatha Yoga Manjari
Read More
“The scholar may tell you the meaning of the word, but it is the Guru that will take you to experience the meaning of the word since it lives in him while it is devoid within the scholar”
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FEATURING

See the FILM

London

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 6:30PM​
Where: Odeon Covent Garden
135 Shaftesbury Ave, London, London, WC2H 8AH, United Kingdom

The full AGNIYOGANA screening and distribution schedule will be released in late 2019. To stay up to date on all of the latest news, sign up for our newsletter.

team​

Director/Producer Emma Balnaves
Editor Lindi Harrison, ASE
Composers Marihiko Hara, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Executive Producers Judy Yu, David Lipsius, Emma Balnaves
Associate Producer Alexandra Gilbert
Assistant Editor/Online Editor/Colourist Danny Phillips
Sound Design/Editing/Mix Carlos Manrique Clavijo, Tom Heuzenroeder
Copy Editor John Evans
Production Consultant Katrina Lucas

Nepal/India

Principal Cinematography Umut Gunduz, Drew Stansbury
Additional Cinematography Tarun Jasani, Emma Balnaves
Nepal Sound Assistant Alexandra Gilbert

South Australia

Emma’s Interview Lara Damiani, Claudio Raschella
Studio Yoga Shoot Hendon Studios
Cinematography 1st Dop Chris Hertzfeld, 2nd Dop Umut Gunduz
Gaffer Richard Rees-Jones
Trailer Editor Tania Nehme

Translators Champa Hundrup, Bharat Giri Ratna (Tibetan), Soni Mainali (Nepalese)
Transliteration of Interviews Champa Hundrup (Tibetan) Mila Productions (Nepalese)
Subtitles Jampa Monlam (Tibetan) Jorgen Gazmere (Nepalese)
Graphics Abra Remphrey (Detour Design)

Shiva Samhita translated into English by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu

 

Biographies

Director / producer

Emma Balnaves is the producer and director of AGNIYOGANA and an internationally respected teacher of the traditional forms and philosophies of Hatha Yoga. She has been teaching yoga since 1998.

Emma was introduced to yoga in her early teens when she became intrigued by the mystery of the practices and the feelings they evoked inside her. After studying visual communication, majoring in photography at university, and working in the creative arts in Sydney, New York, and London, Emma committed herself to a life of teaching yoga. Her early training began with a rigorous three-year apprenticeship at the Hatha Yoga Shala in Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia.

After decades of in-depth study and research in yoga, Ayurveda, and other internal arts, Emma began incorporating the full spectrum of the yogic process in her teaching. AGNIYOGANA is her first film. She was inspired to create AGNIYOGANA as a way to share the essence of these teachings and bring greater understanding to all aspects of the practice.

Emma is the author of three publications, “Nataraja – the Lord of Multiple Forms,” “Yoga for Women,” and “Seasonal Mandala”. She is co-founder and director of Shadow Yoga (a form of classical Hatha Yoga) and Nṛtta Sādhanā. Emma resides in Adelaide, Australia with her husband and teaching partner, Shandor Remete. shadowyoga.com

EDITING / COLOURIST / SOUND DESIGN & MIX

Lindi Harrison is a highly acclaimed editor of award-winning Documentary, Drama and Arts programs for local and international broadcast and cinema release. She has edited a range of award winning feature length documentaries and has been nominated for several awards, including an AACTA Award for Best Editing in a Documentary.
imdb.com/name/nm0365710/

Danny Phillips is an editor and colourist with over 15  years experience as a post-production professional. He has worked both nationally and internationally on projects ranging from small scale 3 minute micro-documentaries, to fully funded television broadcast series.
dannyphillips.com.au

Carlos A. Manrique Clavijo is a sound designer who has worked in several award-winning productions including fiction, documentary and predominantly, animation.
karu-karu.com

Tom Heuzenroeder is a Primetime Emmy Award nominated sound designer and has worked in film and television sound post-production for over 20 years in Australia and abroad. He ran a studio in Adelaide writing and recording music for commercials and corporate productions before turning to feature films and establishing a sound facility at the South Australian Film Corporation. He has been recognized for his sound design work with an AFI award and the Australian Screen Sound Guild’s Andrew Plain Award for Best Film Sound Design.
imdb.com/name/nm0381928/

MUSIC

Marihiko Hara is a composer residing in Kyoto, Japan. His main interest is to compose serene silence in music and to pursue his own texture of sounds, through electric/acoustic sounds and field recordings.
marihikohara.com 

Our friend, Ryuichi Sakamoto, created a new piece of music for this film.
sitesakamoto.com

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Umut Gunduz is a UK based filmmaker. He has worked as a director, editor and cameraperson for major broadcasters (CA, BBC) and various international companies and organisations.
visionthingstudio.com

Chris Herzfeld is a filmmaker and the founder of Camlight Productions, specializing in high quality imagery. He was the cinematographer and co-Producer of the short film “Alistair’ and has worked on five feature films.
camlight.com.au

Drew Stansbury is a multidisciplinary digital producer with more than 20 years experience in bringing digital products to life. He is an Executive Producer for ‘I’m Content’.
imcontent.com.au

Thank you to our major crowdfunding donors

Gold Circle

Anna Krasnova
Anonymous
Caterina Hadjilias
Gerald K. Wu
Jennifer Burke
Karen Rinaldi
Mikhail Skigin
Shawn M Flot & Laurie Christomos




Silver Circle

Christopher J. Koenig & Leah M. Wingard
Janice Kramer
Judy Yu & Mark Horner
Julie Daily
Kathleen Moynahan
Lara
Patrick & Amy Sweeney
Shehab
Smadar Dvora Levy
Susan Turner




Supporter Circle

Amelie Strecker
Darin Betro
Deirdre S. Longo
Gary Mills
Helen Roth
Islington Yoga
Koyu Terasawa
Kristen Hazard
Martin Hunke
Miko Divan
Nicky Shinder
Paul Duncan
Richmond C. Dickson
Rosie Cardone
Shelle & Brian Ball
Steven Haun
Suzanne Cohen
Veronica Moore

AU$300 Donors

Alexandra Macdonald
Allison R
Andrew Nelson
AnneGro Egeberg
Ari Wenig
Bella Armstrong
Birgit Schoißwohl
Caterina Hadjilias
Catherine Halcomb
Costanza Manciani
David Malka
Dean Carson
Dianna Oles
Eugene J. Hunner
Gaute Waldow
Hatha Yoga Desha
Heidi Chew
Helen Mamas
Ian
Ivan Poletaev
Jeffrey
Jonny Nobleza
KaoriI Azuma
Kelly Doughty
Linda Della Maggiora
Mari Suwa-Whitehouse
Matthias Roth
Megan Troup
Michael Cooney
Mojra
Molnár Irén
Monique Ledesma
Natasha Almeida
Petr Růžička
Siva
Stepan Sydoruk
Thomas Hughes
Tillmann Pape
Tony Wu Jia Ye
Trevor Yoga
Yumiko Obata

AU$200 Donors

Akiko Ueda
Alexandra Gilbert
Almakiewicz Fabien
Amy Wong
Andrea Arriaga
Anita Dammacco
Anna Hawken
Anne Guillaume
Annika Lindberg
Brahman
Chiara Letizia
Chris McKenna
Christina Desser
Cody S.
Danielle Lee
Danny and Kathryn
Darcy
Dominica Kriz
Elaine Ormiston
Emily Connor
Fred Pockrass & Ina Pockrass
Gilbert Diêm Nga
Goldenmonkey Healing
Inbal Sinai
James Chiu
Kerstin Fooken
Kyra Marwaha
Lisa Simon
Lita Batho
Louise Goodvach
Manu Butterworth
Maria Veber
Maria-Christina Katsoulis
Maya.om
Megan Ahearn
Meidad Greenfield
Natalie Smith
Niki Kriz
Nikki Taylor
Oaklands IYC
Razi
Rebecca Barlow
Rebecca & Roland
Renee Punzi
Ron Van Der Ham
Ronen Cohen
Ruth McGuigan
Sachiko Niimura
Sandra Nicht

AU$120 Donors

Adela A
Aki
Alejandra Alsina
Alexis Armenakis
Alexis Colman
Alison Crook
Anon
Antonio Alemanno
Asheville School of Massage & Yoga
Cass
Cinthia García Romero
Colleen M. Taylor
Dahlia Strecker
Dasha Goricki
Dean Abt
Defne and Kokia Sparis
Dieneke Schram-Bijkerk
Eileen
Elisabeth Westre
Frøydis Elvestrand
Gloria Juárez
Invisible movements-Nermin & Nesrin Salepci
Jaymin Gansell
Jodi Sigsworth
John and Louisa Yu
John Barnes
John Sherburne
Juleigh Slater
Juliette Sales
Kaja Keil
Kavita Vora
Lakshmi Angela Norwood
Luke Featherston
Marie-Laure
Megan
Meghna Majmudar
Michiyo Domon
Mileva Krunic
Nicolet Montanus/ Shadow Yoga Nederland
Nili
Nimmi Kovvali
Nina Krylow
Noa Gottfried
Nozomi
Sabine Irawan
Shantala
Kelly Schalk
Steven & Jill
Teri Carson

And many thanks to all of the generous backers of our Kickstarter Campaign and at Donate.com for your support in bringing this project to life!

Thank you to the teachers and their students who supported the film through global studio fundraising events.

Asia

Japan
Akiko Ueda

Australia

Adelaide
Gary Mills

Central Coast
Peter Mulholland

Melbourne
Louise Goodvach
Peter Ujvari
Tanya Levy

Sydney
Juliet Williams
Natasha Almeida
Penny Cuthbert
Trevor Tangye

Canada

Quebec
Radhasri

Europe

England
Caterina Hadjilias
Karen Watson
Monique Ledesma
Pauline Morphett
Samantha Sculthorp
Tim Cummins

France
Alexandra Gilbert
Valerie Carretero

Germany
Daphne Strohmann
Michael Dolan

Holland
Nicole Montanus

Italy
Antonio Alemanno

Norway
Gaute Waldow

Russia
Andrey Galitskiy
Boris Voronin

Spain
Amelie Strecker

Ukraine
Andrey Rozhnov

Middle East

Israel
David Malka
Noa Gottfried
Ronen Cohen

Turkey
Defne Suman

New Zealand

Jaymin Gansell
Natalie Smith

United States

California
Catherine Halcomb
Chandra Easton
Cindy Lee
Judy Yu
Mark Horner
Scott Blossom
Shelley Massa Gooch

New York
Andy Matinog
Maya Smelloff

Oregon
Lita Batho

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