To experience Jivamukti Yoga is to have a full experience of the practices that make up yoga. The many varied practices of yoga are all directed towards one aim; to realize enlightenment. These practices are designed to work together and are essentially powerless when practiced independently. Asana, or the physical practice of postures, is what is usually thought of when the term “yoga” is referred to. The asanas, however, are nothing more than stretching without the inclusion of all of the aspects of the practice. Other aspects include meditation, chanting Sanskrit, pranayama (breath work), study of the ancient philosophy and written texts, and the intention of spiritual connection. A Jivamukti yoga class offers the experience of all of these aspects. Its like taking a spiritual bath!
Jivamukti Yoga emerged in 1984:
Now one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha yoga and co-founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti yoga began in a friend’s basement in the East Village of New York City. Gannon and Life chose the term Jivamukti from the Sanskrit word Jivanmukti which translates, “liberated while living.” The Jivamukti yoga approach combines practices that liberate body and soul.
Jivamukti Yoga stands on five pillars of intention:
Ahimsa (the practice of non-harming in regard to others), bhakti (the practice of devotion), meditation (the practice of one-pointed focus), scripture (study of philosophy and spirituality of yoga), nada yoga (the yoga of sound).
A friend once described her experience of Jivamukti yoga as “a yoga class that appeals to all the senses.” Each Jivamukti yoga class will have chanting, pranayama, asana, meditation, scripture, uplifting music and hands-on adjustments and support by the instructor that ends with a neck and shoulder rub during the final relaxation or savasana. Students often describe a feeling of floating while walking out of a Jivamukti yoga class. This is the feeling of spiritual connection. Let your yoga practice get you to God!
The jivanmukta is not transformed by pleasure or pain.
Joy does not exalt the mukta, nor is the mukta depressed by pain.
The jivanmukta no longer regards the world as real
The jivanmukta is pure like akasha
The jivanmukta is neither subject to attachment, nor to egoism.
The jivanmukta does not fear the world,
Nor does the world fear the jivanmukta
The jivanmukta is at peace with the ways of the world.
The mukta is free from worldly-mindedness
Finally, the jivanmukta maintains a cool head.