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Awake: The Life of Yogananda - A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Yoga and Meditation

Explore the life and teachings of the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in "Awake: The Life of Yogananda".

Keywords: , Yogananda, Yoga, Meditation, Hinduism, Spirituality, Biography, Three Words Summary: , Inspirational, Enlightening, Spiritual


"Awake: The Life of Yogananda", directed by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman and released in 2014, is a compelling biography of the Hindu Swami who brought the practices of yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. In our current age where mindfulness and yoga are seen as essential tools for mental health and well-being, understanding Yogananda's journey and teachings has never been more relevant.


"Awake" delves into the life of Swami Yogananda, a Hindu mystic who brought the teachings of yoga and meditation to Western shores in the 1920s. The documentary offers an insightful look into Yogananda's life journey, his teachings, and the widespread impact he had on Western society.

More Film Analysis



The documentary adopts an investigative approach, meticulously exploring Yogananda's life and teachings. It showcases thorough research into his writings and teachings, providing a deep exploration of his philosophy and its subsequent influence on Western culture.

Historical and Factual Context


Yogananda was one of the first Swamis to bring Hindu spirituality to the West. His teachings have influenced millions and led to the widespread acceptance and practice of yoga and meditation in Western societies.

Key themes in the film

  • The power of mindfulness and inner peace
  • The influence of Eastern spirituality on Western culture
  • The universal human quest for happiness and liberation from suffering

Film Comparisons

Compared to other documentaries on iWonder like "The Buddha", "Awake" is a deep-dive into the life of a single influential figure, offering a unique perspective on the dissemination of Eastern spirituality in the West.

Noteworthy Moments

A significant moment in the documentary is the exploration of Yogananda's book "Autobiography of a Yogi", which has been an influential spiritual guide for millions, including celebrities like Steve Jobs and George Harrison.


Audiences and critics have praised the film for its insightful portrayal of Yogananda's life and teachings. "A beautifully crafted film...a must-see for anyone interested in yoga, meditation, and spirituality" (LA Yoga).


"Awake: The Life of Yogananda" is a compelling exploration of the man who brought yoga and meditation to the West. It's a must-watch for those interested in spirituality, yoga, meditation, or just seeking insights into leading a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Yogananda: Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West
  • Steve Jobs: Apple founder and follower of Yogananda's teachings



  • India: Yogananda's birthplace
  • United States: Where Yogananda disseminated his teachings

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • How has Yogananda's teachings impacted the practice of yoga and meditation in the West?
  • What can we learn from Yogananda's life and teachings in our quest for happiness and inner peace?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "Autobiography of a Yogi" - for its deep spiritual insights and transformative teachings.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Imagine" by John Lennon - for its message of peace and unity.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh - for its depiction of the inner world and the quest for meaning.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be George Harrison - for his spiritual quest and embracing Eastern philosophy.
  5. A colour, it would be saffron - symbolising the Hindu spirituality.
  6. A music style, it would be New Age - for its calming, spiritual, and meditative qualities.