From The Bhakti Trail: Sofia, Bulgaria
Hollywood goes to Bulgariaby Spring Groove
Udaya Entertainment is the love project of Yariv Lerner. He is the son of Avi Lerner who founded The Hollywood base production companies Nu- Image and Millennium Films. Avi is also the owner of Nu Boyana Film Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria. Nu Boyana is the biggest Film Studio in Eastern Europe.
Yariv spends half his year in L.A. and half here at Nu Boyana, his Bulgarian playground filming yoga classes by the worlds’ leading yoga teachers. These classes can be taken on demand at Udaya.com and purchased in hard copy form. What Udaya has, unlike any other yoga online site (i.e. YogaGlo), is a huge movie studio, which makes not your typical yoga Videos, but rather, Movies made with state of the art multi-camera, cranes, trollies, and a big budget.
After filming a series of videos from L.A’s finest last year, Yariv invites Micheline Berry, founder of LIQUID ASANA and pioneer for LIVE music in yoga classes, to Sofia. The stakes are higher now because a 12- piece bhakti band will accompany her 12- part DVD collection and all will be filmed, LIVE.
So what happens when 12 musicians from Los Angeles, including myself, and 30 yoga teachers from 15 different countries gather in Bulgaria at a movie studio to accomplish what hasn’t yet been attempted before? Add into the scenario a 75-acre complex which features 13 sound stages, an outdoor replica of central Manhattan, The French Quarter of New Orleans, ancient Rome, complete with a coliseum and more. Add a 3 story wardrobe building with open access. What happens? Everything. In other words, Yoga happens.
For starters a great deal of work transpires… with jet lag for most. Days start on the set by 7am to shoot 3 classes a day. The schedule that no one is completely apprised of leads to crankiness, chaos, stress and an occasional diva fit here and there. After all, it is still Hollywood, just transported to the old world. The stress leads to incredible musical impromptu jams, heart opening practices and beautiful bonding. The bonding leads to laughter, off the cuff iconic photo shoots with Robert Sturman (robertsturmanstudio.com) and the catalyst for it all is, Bhakti.
Music and Mantra from morning to night was the fuel that empowered us. It was the elixir that allowed us to flourish out of our comfort zone. It calmed the nerves and the egos. It opened the hearts. It cleared the obstacles and it celebrated life. Its potency allowed us to behave at our highest level when challenged at our lowest. It restored faith and trust and revealed itself time and time again to hold the key to Joy. Yoga was very much alive at Nu Boyana Studio, home of the action film series, THE EXPENDABLES. Even with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas THE LIQUID ASANA SERIES may just rival its Power. Where there is yoga, there is strength, transformation bliss and clarity.