Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Popularity of Jivamukti Yoga

AppId is over the quota
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One of the more popular forms of yoga among celebrities is Jivamukti Yoga. Though it only began in 1984, its considerable appeal is based on the fact that it has many traditional hatha yoga elements that are combined with cultivating a social conscience. Founded by a dancer and a café owner with the blessings of several prominent Indian yoga masters, this relatively new school now has centers in several cities in the United States and Europe.

Roughly translated, Jivamukti means 'liberation while living,' and the cultivation of this state is embodied in the five practice elements of Dhyana, Nsda, Ahimsa, Bhakti and Shastra.

Dhyana in Jivamukti yoga is essentially the practice of meditation or watching one's own mind. The meditator learns to go beyond self-referential thinking and find a deeper, more spacious place within.

The Nada practice incorporates chanting and focused listening to sound vibrations. In Yogic philosophy, sound vibrations are the building blocks of the world. In Jivamukti yoga, practioners learn to listen carefully and to experience a deeper unity with the universe.

Ahisma, or non-harming practice, cultivates a respect for all living creatures in the belief that all sentient beings are inter-connected. In accordance, Jivamukti encourages vegetarianism and supports social activism to promote animal rights and a clean environment.

Bhakti practice involves worship of the 'divine.' This is a core tenet of Jivamukti yoga practice, because the path ultimately leads to a unity or a realization of the supreme. This is not necessarily the worship of a god in the traditional understanding, but a yearning to connect with a power greater than oneself. Consequently, Jivamukti yoga encourages appreciation of all faiths and promotes religious understanding and dialogue.

Lastly, Shastra, or scripture study is a key element of Jivamukti. The four primary texts are the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Additionally, Jivamukti yoga teachers encourage learning Sanskrit so that the texts can be read in their original language.

The foundation blocks of Jivamukti are supported and enhanced by asana (poses) practice in the traditional vinyasa method, i.e., they are movements that are synchronized with intention and the breath. Jivamukti Yoga Centers have classes to suit one's level of interest and lifestyle. For instance, you have the option of open classes or private instruction.

Jivamukti is a tradition-based yoga school with a 21st century flair. To find a center near you or to learn more about the school, you can visit

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