| JIVAMUKTI YOGA IS A PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT THROUGH COMPASSION FOR ALL BEINGS. |
| THE JIVAMUKTI METHOD IS GROUNDED IN THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE SANSKRIT WORD ASANA AS “SEAT, CONNECTION” – RELATIONSHIP TO THE EARTH. EARTH IMPLIES ALL OF LIFE. |
| A jivanmukta is a human being who has achieved enlightenment and lives to benefit others. |
SHARON GANNON & DAVID LIFE
Created by Sharon Gannon and David Life, the Jivamukti School incorporates traditional Yoga practices into a modern lifestyle without losing sight of the ancient, universal goal of liberation.
They are pioneers in teaching yoga as spiritual activism, demonstrating that yoga is a living tradition, a complete method for attaining lasting happiness, a practice that is available for all beings. Citing Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, which states that asana should be sthira and sukham, Jivamukti Yoga maintains that one’s relationship to others (asana) should be mutually beneficial and come from a consistent (sthira) place of joy and happiness (sukham).
“When we began teaching yoga, we set ourselves this challenge: to relate the ancient teachings to modern experience without dumbing down the yoga practices or sacrificing their original aim, which was always and only to experience union with the Divine Self. We also asked ourselves : Is there anything in our own culture that helps us in our quest for enlightenment? Let’s look at the lyrics in the Beatles’ music: let’s listen to what Van Morrison is singing about; let’s be inspired by the fusion of Eastern and Western influences in the music of John Coltrane and Bill Laswell.”
Jivamukti Yoga was a natural continuation of their own artistic investigation into the mysteries of life. At Jivamukti, we use art, music, dance, and poetry, to create an environment that inspires people to break out of their small selves and feel the Divine Self flowing through them.
“We were inspired not only by our teachers in India but also by our friends, the tattooed, pierced, blue and green-haired nonconformist artists, poets, and musicians. […] We wanted to create a place that would turn everyone on like that to the richness of yoga. What didn’t turn us on were the white walls and potted plants of the other yoga centers we visited in NY. So we painted the walls all kinds of beautiful colors, put up pictures of Indian deities, and rolled our huge Oriental rugs on the floor. […] And we played all kinds of spiritually uplifting music, from Bhagavan Das to Van Morrison to the Indian-jazz fusion of Bill Laswell.”
WHAT ABOUT THE METHOD ?
Each class serves as a bridge between the wisdom of the ancient teachings and the modern world, including set Asana sequences, Pranayama exercises, the study of Mantras and Sutras, Kriyas, Meditation and Relaxation. A Jivamukti Yoga class is physically challenging; it’s all about the razor’s edge, pushing beyond the limitations imposed by your mind. You will be encouraged to devote your practice to God, in whatever form you feel comfortable acknowledging God.
FIVE TENETS OF JIVAMUKTI YOGA
This core philosophy is expressed through the following 5 Tenets. Jivamukti teachers embody these tenets, so that they color all of their teachings.
A non-violent, compassionate lifestyle.
Devotion is the goal of all yoga practices and can be expressed through chanting, the setting of a high intention for the practice or other devotional practices.
Meditation: connecting to that eternal unchanging reality within.
The development of a sound body and mind through deep listening.
Study of the ancient yogic teachings.
Source: Jivamukti Yoga, Practices for liberating body and soul by Sharon Gannon and David Life.