What is Jivamukti Yoga


Jivamukti Yoga is a specialized practice that combines the physical, spiritual and ethical ramifications of yoga. There are many types of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, aerobic yoga and power yoga among others. These variants tend to take one or a few elements of traditional yoga and build on it or modify it to have a premeditated impact on the practitioner. Most variants focus on the physical impacts whereas Jivamukti Yoga also focuses on the ethical and spiritual impacts.

Literal Meaning of Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti is a coinage of ‘jiva’ and ‘mukti’. These two Sanskrit words can be wrongly translated as ‘life’ and ‘freedom’ if one were to use the Hindi or Bengali languages as the source. ‘Jiva’ in Sanskrit is ‘soul’. ‘Mukti’ in Sanskrit is ‘moksha’, ‘nirvana’ or ‘liberation’. Jivamukti literally means liberation while living and not after death which is freedom from the cycle of rebirth as moksha and nirvana imply.

Jivamukti Yoga is a trademarked method or proprietary form of yoga. It was developed by Sharon Gannon and David Life after they had been trained by a few gurus in India and later in New York. The method focuses on a few vigorous Hatha yoga practices and Vinyasa based physical postures focusing on five elements. The five elements are Shastra, Bhakti, Ahima, Nada and Dhyana, respectively meaning scripture, devotion, nonviolence, music and meditation.

The Multipronged Objective of Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga focuses on physical strength, psychological well being, spirituality, nonviolence, morality or ethics, devotion to god and learning of scriptures to understand what actually yoga pursued in ancient times. The attempt is to lead a morally and ethically impeccable life while in pursuit of the supreme truth and devotion to god. While the physical postures and health are a primary focus, the objective covers enhancing one’s psychological being, becoming the superior self and living a life that is unquestionably right.

Jivamukti Yoga has often combined environmentalism, animal rights or veganism, social activism and gender justice. The reference to scriptures or ancient Sanskrit texts, devoting self to god or the supreme force of the universe, being self aware, listening to one’s mind, knowing through that experience and then becoming what one knows are the collective quest of Jivamukti Yoga. This style is open to all but progressions are broken down to beginner or basic level, warrior style, private sessions and advanced meditation.

Jivamukti Yoga has many celebrity endorsers such as Diane Keaton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heidi Klum, Madonna, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Steve Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sting, Uma Thurman and Willem Dafoe.

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