Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti means
“Liberation while living”

The method was founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life in the 80s and it reflects the teachings and time spent with their three gurus Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Swami Nirmalananda and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

Jivamukti is an integrated method of yoga which combines distinct yogic elements at its core essence: āsana, meditation, study of the spiritual scriptures and sanskrit, devotional chanting (bhakti) and nada yoga (the yoga of sound).

Jivamukti Founders David Life and Sharon Gannon. © 2006 Guzman

The method’s official definition is a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, as it is grounded on the original meaning of the word “āsana” – seat – relationship with the Earth and all Her manifestations (human beings and non-human beings). According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – chapter II Saddhana Paddha – which state the “āsana” should be “shira” and “sukham”, Jivamukti maintains that one’s relationship to others (“āsana”) should be mutually beneficial and come from a consistent (“sthira”) place of joy and happiness (“sukham”).

This is a radical idea that, when put into practice, can dismantle our present culture, which is based on the notion that the Earth and all other animals exist for our benefit and to be exploited for our own selfish purposes. So the practice of āsana 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.

The 5 Tenets of Jivamukti Yoga

This core philosophy is expressed through five tenets, which form the foundation of Jivamukti Yoga and are present at the classes:


Adoption of a non-harmful way of living, focused on extending compassion for all living beings.


Acknowledgment that God/Self-realization is the goal of all yoga practices (chanting of mantras).


Connecting to that eternal unchanging reality within, that transcends space, time and matter.


Integration of sound as primordial element within the practice and the capacity to combine deep listening with movement.


Study of the ancient yogic teachings, including sanskrit, that support the understanding of the practice (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc.)

More information: jivamuktiyoga.com