LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
The gurus and founders of the Jivamukti Yoga method are Sharon Gannon and David Life. They met in 1983 in New York City and in 1984 created Jivamukti Yoga.
As a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, Jivamukti Yoga is grounded in the original meaning of the Sanskrit word asana as “seat, connection” – relationship to the Earth. Earth implies all of life. Citing Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, which states that asana should be sthira and sukham, Jivamukti Yoga maintains that one’s relationship to others (asana) should be mutually beneficial and come from a consistent (sthira) place of joy and happiness (sukham). So the practice of asana becomes more than mere physical exercise to keep one’s body fit or to increase strength or flexibility; it becomes a way to improve one’s relationship to all others and thus lead to enlightenment – the dissolution of the sense of separateness, the realization of the oneness of being, the discovery of lasting happiness.
This core philosophy is expressed through five tenets which form the foundation of Jivamukti Yoga.
The five tenets, not presented in any particular order of importance, are:
A nonviolent, compassionate lifestyle extending to other animals, the environment and all living beings.
Acknowledgment that God/Self-realization is the goal of all yoga practices; can be expressed through chanting, the setting of a high intention for the practice or other devotional practices.
Meditation: connecting to that eternal unchanging reality within.
The development of a sound body and mind through deep listening; can be incorporated in a class using recorded music, spoken word, silence or even the teacher’s voice.
Study of the ancient yogic teachings, including Sanskrit chanting, drawn from the Focus of the Month to the extent possible.