Jivamukti (from jivanmuktih, "living liberated" in Sanskrit, implying one who is liberated, or enlightened, while still alive) is an eclectic synthesis of yoga practices developed by Sharon Gannon and David Life, who studied both Sivananda Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga in India. (See Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.) This style of yoga is taught and practiced at two Jivamukti Yoga Centers in New York City; one in Munich, Germany; and at other locations throughout the world by teachers who have been trained and certified by Gannon and Life. The Jivamukti Yoga Center in downtown New York City is one of the largest yoga centers in the United States. It offers more than 100 classes a week, many often filled and overflowing.
Jivamukti epitomizes hip urban style yoga. Rock celebrities and movie stars flock to its classes in the trendy Noho and fashionable Upper East Side sections of Manhattan. An issue of Yoga Journal included a feature article on this style of yoga with celebrity adept practitioner Sting on its cover.
Jivamukti Yoga is noted for the physically challenging rigor of its asana practice, as well as by its psychological and spiritual depth. Jivamukti's emphasis on ethical vegetarianism helps to awaken in the practitioner a need to protect the earth, the environment, and all the animals and plants that share the planet with us.
Each class is one hour and 35 minutes long and integrates chanting, breathing exercises, music, meditation, and ancient, traditional sacred scriptures into a vigorous physical practice that includes a vinyasa flowing sequence of asanas (see "Vinyasa Yoga," page 108). It provides a blueprint for incorporating the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga into modern man's life.
For further information on Jivamukti Yoga, contact:
Jivamukti Yoga Center
404 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
E-mail: [email protected]
The principles of Jivamukti Yoga are presented in the following book: Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul (Ballantine, 2002). Also available by Gannon and Life: The Art of Yoga (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 2002).
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