Jivamukti yoga is one of the nine internationally known styles of Hatha yoga. The name Jivamukti refers to liberation while living. This meaning is pulled from the Sanskrit term Jivamukti which means the state of enlightenment or God realization. The part Jiva refers to individual soul and Mukti mean liberation. Yoga teacher training will teach you all about this method.
This method of yoga practice was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1986. The name came about because they wanted the student that practices this method to remember that it is about the ultimate goal of practice: spiritual enlightenment and awareness. Yoga teachers know that this is a vigorous physical and intellectually stimulating practice that is also combined with a strong base in the ancient spiritual traditions of yoga.
Philosophy of Jivamukti Yoga
From the beginning of this practice the creators believed that liberation was the only reason that someone should practice yoga. The belief is that when you practice yoga you are making yourself open to the possibilities of enlightenment. The Jivamukti Yoga practice connects a strong oriented life philosophy, ethical guidelines for inner and outer work, and a creative approach to live and be. Yoga teacher training will incorporate all those things in your training.
Each class will focus on a theme which is then explored through your chanting, readings, references to yoga scriptures, asanas sequencing, music, pranayama and meditation. The practice style of Jivamukti yoga can be physically intense and quite challenging but will always leave you with a positive experience.
The asana portion of the practice demands that you connect with your physical, mental and emotional limitations because any limitation that you hold inside can cause problems for you and builds on negativity. As you move through your practice and dedicate each inhale and exhale to releasing these negative tendencies you will move forward. In time you can develop the courage to move through your own limitations. Through your yoga teaching experience spiritually centered music is played in the classroom as a reminder to seek out your personal goal.
Main Principles of the Jivamukti Yoga Style
Jivamukti yoga is centered on five disciplines that will form the foundation of the practice and are included in every class session. By making sure that these ideas are incorporated into each asanas practice it means that yoga is being practice for its original purpose which is to bring enlightenment to a physical exercise.
- Scripture: Study of the ancient yoga teachings including Sanskrit chanting
- Bhakti: Each person regards God as a present in every person or sentient being
- Ahimsa: Price of a non-violent, compassionate lifestyle which emphasizes ethical vegetarianism and animal rights. You build a humility and raise awareness of the environmental impact of a meat based diet and incur good karma
- Nada Yoga: Development of a sound body and mind through deep listening-appreciation of the sounds of yoga
- Meditation: Connecting with the eternal unchanging reality within
Vegetarianism as Part of Style
The creators of this style of yoga feel that vegetarianism is the traditional keystone to a true yogic way of life. It is a path to lead to liberation which is the goal of yoga. If you are true to this eating style then you are not eating animals and you only eat vegetables. A vegan will recognize that animals do not belong to us and they are not for us to eat, wear, or use for scientific purposes. Vegans believe that our current culture is based on the idea that the earth and all things are exist for the human benefit.
Jivamukti Yoga is a style of yoga that can be quite physically intense. Each class has a theme which is explored through scripture, chanting, asana, pranayama, meditation and music. Many famous people use this method of yoga as their personal escape and to regroup and gain back clarity.
Jivamukti yoga appeals to many people who want a strong workout and more. By participating in yoga teacher training, to provide this style yourself or just joining a class session near you, take a healthy dose of chanting and philosophizing and regroup.