Jivamukti Yoga appeared in New York in the year 1984. It was developed by the artist David Life and the musician and dancer Sharon Gannon. After taking yoga lessons in India, the two began practicing their own type of yoga. They opened up two centers in New York and started gaining adepts right away. The name ‘Jivamukti’ comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words: ‘jiva’ that refers to the living soul, plus ‘mukti’ that signifies the liberation from death, or rebirth.
What is Jivamukti Yoga?
Jivamukti Yoga is a special kind of yoga that emphasizes not only a spiritual practice, but also an ethical and physical one. It combines two different types of yoga called vinyasa and hatha, and it adheres to five main systems of belief. It also stresses social activism, animal rights, environmentalism and veganism.
Jivamukti Yoga principles
Jivamukti Yoga is based on five main principles. The first one of them is named Shastra. This refers to the study of the Sanskrit chanting and the ancient yoga teachings. The second one is known under the name of Bhakti. To respect it, every practitioner must regard the presence of God in all perceptive beings and in every person as well.
The third principle is called Ahimsa and it emphasizes the practice of a compassionate and nonviolent lifestyle that must stress animal rights and vegetarianism. It is also linked to humility and compassion, environmentalism, the elimination of suffering of any type and the incurring of a good karma.
The last two principles are named Nada Yoga and Meditation. The first one refers to the necessity of the development of a sound mind and body. This can be done through deep listening. As far as the latter one is concerned, this is linked to the reality within that must not be altered in any way.
Benefits of Jivamukti Yoga
A regular practice of Jivamukti Yoga can bring people a lot of health benefits. This kind of yoga can lower the blood pressure and get it to a normal level, it can improve the respiration process of those suffering from breathing problems, it can eliminate depression and improve chaotic lifestyles, and it can sharpen the IQ level and also improve the muscle flexibility.
In addition, it is also capable of determining people to think more positively and therefore lead a happier lifestyle. Moreover, it can increase physical competencies. Due to its numerous benefits, celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Heidi Klum, Madonna, Sting and Uma Thurman practice it regularly.
Basic Jivamukti Yoga poses
Jivamukti Yoga has four main poses that practitioners must learn to do. All classes start with the Sun Salutation that is made up of twelve different poses. These are flowing and very simple to learn. They comprise backbends and lunges, and they are combined with inhalation and exhalation special techniques. After practitioners do the Sun Salutation, they must continue with the other three main poses. These are represented by the Warrior Pose, the Triangle Pose and the Shoulderstand.
As far as the latter is concerned, this is a very common pose in yoga, as it is said to have the ability of healing multiple sufferings of different nature. It is restorative and rejuvenating, but it is recommended only in combination with the others mentioned above.