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The Story

In Southern Spain, nestled in the foothills of the Grazalema Mountains, a strange and otherworldly structure has landed. In a place where not much ever changes it has aroused the curiosity of the bemused locals. What is it? Who built it? And what is it for? 

This is a film about one woman’s tenacious dedication to her yogic path. Vidya Heisel is an inspiring entrepreneur and visionary with big dreams. The film follows her rocky and fascinating journey to realize her dream to create an unsurpassed centre for yoga in the heart of the Andalusian countryside. The retreat centre is named Suryalila, which means “cosmic play of the sun” in Sanskrit.  

The story begins on the day of the Dome opening. Vidya set out to create the largest and most magnificent Yoga Hall in Europe. It’s been several years in the making and this awe-inspiring futuristic structure is having the finishing touches applied, to be ready for the evening’s opening ceremony, to which all the great and good have been invited. The Dome was built to help attract yoga rock stars and their huge fol-lowings and with room for 70 mats, Suryalila Retreat Centre has just become the biggest yoga centre in Europe.

But how does business marry with spiritual living? And when the villagers deem you a cult how do you find acceptance in the local community? And what is a yogic lifestyle anyway?

This is the story of the evolution of Yoga in the 21st century and how and why it has become a booming industry, told through the lens of an ever evolving Suryalila. The film explores the burgeoning trend of wellness retreats, yoga, meditation, spirituality and the fundamental need to come back to ourselves and to find community and a sense of belonging in this increasingly detached world.

It’s also a film about what it takes to grow a business from dreams and how to re-main competitive in the well-being world, whilst staying true to your values.

The storyline develops a secondary conservationist theme when a large permacul-ture business, Danyadara (blessed earth) is created on the grounds of Suryalila, with the intention to save the land around it, which is rapidly turning to desert, and to al-low the harvesting of precious rainwater. It is also an educational project, to demon-strate sustainable ways of farming.

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