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Jivamukti Yoga

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Updated June 10, 2012

Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This modern style of yoga emerged in 1984 from one of New York City’s best-known yoga studios. Founders David Life and Sharon Gannon incorporated their study of Ashtanga yoga with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois with spiritual teachings, placing special emphasis on how to apply yogic philosophy to daily life. Their teacher-training program is particularly well-regarded and has disseminated their method widely to yoga studios and gyms, predominantly in the U.S., although there are official Jivamukti centers in London, Berlin, Munich, and Sydney, in addition to New York and Charleston, South Carolina.

What to Expect from a Jivamukti Class

Jivamukti is a vinyasa style practice and classes can be quite physically intense. Each class has a theme, which is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and music. Attend class at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York, and you may find your mat next to such Hollywood and music industry celebrities as Gywneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington, Russell Simmons, and Sting -- all devotees of this method.

Is Jivamukti for You?

Jivamukti appeals to those who want a good workout and more, since a healthy dose of chanting and philosophizing accompanies each class. Teachers are encouraged to make yoga principles relatable by drawing examples from modern life and contemporary music, so there is often a lot of talking going on. That said, classes are usually light-hearted and fun.

Read More

  • Interview with David Life and Sharon Gannon
  • DVD Review - Transform Yourself with Jivamukti Yoga
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