Jivamukti Yoga is a style that has gained a reputation for attracting many celebrities. The style was developed by trainers David Life and his partner Sharon Gannon. They came up with the style after joining a Sivananda teacher training Class during a trip to India in 1986.
They opened their first class in the East Village of New York City. They called it the Jivamukti Yoga Society. The center was later moved to Lafayette Street in 1998. In 2000, they opened a second school in the Upper East Side of New York. The school has since expanded, moving to other states and more recently, to other countries.
The Types of Classes in Jivamukti Yoga
There are six different classes that one can join in Jivamukti Yoga. They are:
Magic 10 Sequence
Jivamukti Yoga Open Class
Jivamukti Yoga has an open class policy where practitioners of all levels can participate. Each participant can work at his or her own pace before being provided with the options for beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels. The open class incorporates training on the five tenets of Jivamukti. These are:
Shastra – Its basis is the study of four central yoga texts and learning the Sanskrit language. This is the language that the texts were initially written in.
Bhakti – This tenet teaches students how to devote themselves to God during their yoga practice. Interestingly, an inter-religious understanding of God is encouraged with deities from multiple religions adorning Jivamukti Yoga centers.
Ahimsa – In this tenet, practitioners are taught values of non-violence, non-harming, and compassion. This is where students learn how they are expected to relate to the external world.
Nada – Teaching of yoga in Jivamukti centers is accompanied with elevated music, chanting, and inner listening. The belief is that humans and everything else that exist consists of vibrations that one should strive to understand.
Dhyana – Here, one learns how to be still and to listen to how the mind thinks. By doing this, one can understand their thinking process in a deeper way.
The Basic Class
This class has four basic courses that are taught within a period of four weeks. The basic training here is to know how to do the Asanas and how to use props. It is at this level where students get prepared to get into all other classes.
This is a fast-paced class that is designed for busy people who have limited time to practice. The focus is on the pace of exercises, not the spiritual discourses. The style sequences include twists, backbends, relaxations, meditations, forward bends, and so on.
Here students learn the basics of Vinyasa practice. They are taught a series of Asanas in a relaxed manner. The pace here is much slower than it is in the spiritual warrior level.
The initial teaching style of Jivamukti Yoga was training each student one-on-one. However, modern classes teach students as a group. This level incorporates both the single student and group teaching styles. Students who wish to can get the services of a private teacher.
Meditation is an important part of Jivamukti Yoga whereby it is taught in the form of a mantra. Mediation is done as a three-step procedure; choosing a seat, being still, and then focusing.
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Hopefully, this basic introduction to the tenets of Jivamukti Yoga has given you useful information on what Jivamukti is about.