With a meaning like “liberation while living” it is no wonder that Jivamukti yoga has the devoted and loyal following that it does. Started in 1984 by David Life and Sharon Gannon who incorporated their training as Ashtanga yoga students under the tutelage of Ashtanga yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Jivamukti yoga is a popular and disciplined form of yoga that is practiced all over the country.
Combining both asana, pranayama (breath work) and music, a Jivamukti class is a dynamic yoga experience, both physically and spiritually. A typical class does practice chanting, but beginners are not expected to chime in – only if their comfort and knowledge allows them.
Gannon and Life are two well-recognized faces of yoga. Their book, Jivamukti Yoga, has been heralded from the likes of Russell Simmons and Trudie Styler and includes beautiful asana photographs as well as an incredibly accessible overview of the philosophy of yoga and the intentions behind Jivamukti yoga. Strongly encouraging the basic principles of yoga such as ahimsa, or non-violence, devoted Jivamuktians are staunch vegetarians or vegans. Don’t let that discourage you from sampling a class. Those who are avid followers of this style of yoga credit this relatively new brand of yoga to changing their lives, both inside and out.