by Radhanath Swami
Recently, I earned the honor of speaking as part of the Sunset Gita program at the Jivamukti yoga studio in Manhattan. The distinctive yoga studio mixes Hatha Yoga with a variety of music, ahimsa, and meditation based on the bhakti tradition, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and the Upanishads. Formulated by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984, Jivamukti yoga combines physically invigorating yoga with source teachings and meditations from Sanscrit text. Worldwide in scope, the Jivamukti Yoga School retains schools in Toronto, Berlin, Munich, London, and Charleston, South Carolina. Common offerings at all locations include meditation; Sanskrit classes with teaching and chanting in the traditional forms; and lectures and workshops by internationally respected musicians, teachers, and artists. Although practitioners are welcome to attend single classes, Jivamukti yoga Immersions, taught by Advanced Certified Jivamukti teachers, provide ways of getting deeper into the practice. These immersions are ideal for any level of yoga learners who want personalized guidance in broadening their yoga techniques, and are open to ancient spiritual teachings as a means of pursuing self-knowledge. For those who decide to pursue Jivamukti yoga at the most in-depth level, there is the Jivamukti Yoga 300-Hour Teacher Training Certification Program, including a two-day ecstatic chant immersion experience. This one month program takes place at the secluded Omega campus in Rhinebeck, New York, with hands-on guidance from a dedicated group of yogis. A unique international event that Jivamukti celebrated through a live simulcast in November was Be Here Now, a 40th anniversary celebration with Ram Dass and Rameshwar Das. The event touched on matters of spiritual growth, as well as the challenges experienced over four decades of seeking spirituality. The event was timed to coincide with the publication of Ram Dass`s book, Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart. I recommend visiting the Jivamukti Yoga School website at www.jivamuktiyoga.com and exploring ways of becoming involved in this uniquely enlightening, and enlivening, school.