Jivamukti Yoga – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Yoga Styles Glossary

I. What is Jivamukti Yoga?

Jivamukti Yoga is a modern form of yoga that incorporates physical postures, meditation, chanting, and spiritual teachings. It was founded in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, who were inspired by the teachings of their guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Jivamukti Yoga is a dynamic and challenging practice that aims to help practitioners connect with their inner selves and live more consciously.

II. History of Jivamukti Yoga

Sharon Gannon and David Life met in New York City in the early 1980s and bonded over their shared love of yoga. They traveled to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, and upon their return to the United States, they opened the first Jivamukti Yoga Center in Manhattan in 1986. The center quickly gained popularity and became known for its innovative approach to yoga, combining physical practice with spiritual teachings.

III. Principles of Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga is based on five core principles: Shastra (scripture), Bhakti (devotion), Ahimsa (non-violence), Nada (music), and Dhyana (meditation). These principles guide practitioners in their practice and help them cultivate a deeper connection to themselves and the world around them. Jivamukti Yoga also emphasizes the importance of ethical living, environmental activism, and social justice.

IV. Practices and Techniques in Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga classes typically begin with chanting, followed by a vigorous vinyasa flow practice that incorporates challenging asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control). Classes also include meditation, philosophy discussions, and hands-on adjustments from the teacher. Jivamukti Yoga is known for its creative sequencing and eclectic music playlists, which help create a dynamic and inspiring practice experience.

V. Benefits of Practicing Jivamukti Yoga

Practicing Jivamukti Yoga offers a wide range of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. Physically, the practice helps improve strength, flexibility, and balance, while also promoting relaxation and stress relief. Mentally, Jivamukti Yoga can help increase focus, clarity, and emotional well-being. Spiritually, the practice can deepen one’s connection to their inner self and the world around them, fostering a sense of unity and interconnectedness.

VI. How to Get Started with Jivamukti Yoga

If you’re interested in trying Jivamukti Yoga, the best way to get started is by finding a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher or studio near you. Many studios offer introductory classes for beginners, as well as workshops and retreats for more experienced practitioners. It’s important to approach the practice with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. Remember that yoga is a journey, and each step you take on the mat can lead you closer to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.