What does the latest class at Frizzant entail?
One of the newest Yoga member to our Frizzant family are the Jivamukti classes. In this article, we’ll get to know more about this particular lineage of Yoga, how it became one of the most well-known lineages and why it gives harmony to our overall yoga lineup.
Let’s briefly walk down the Jivamukti memory lane and let’s do so from the earliest of days. We’re in the US beginning the 1980’s when New Yorker dancer, Sharon Gannon hurt her back after being on stage. She gets the advice of trying Yoga to help her heal while still being active. Taking on this advice took her on a journey through India and back, to the point where she with her life partner David, decided to start a new lineage of Yoga and called it Jivamukti.
As Yoga means union, the different yoga styles have different ways of getting to Rome, some more physical, some softer, and some more spiritual than others.
In this article, we’ll have a look at how Shannon and David created a linage of Yoga that would spread across the world finding its a strong place in Yoga in general and into our Frizzant Yoga family in particular.
Perhaps was it the fact that the founders from start were trained dancers and musicians that made them have live music as an essential part of their Yoga practice. One of the trademarks of the Jivamukti style of Yoga is the musical instrument the harmonium, played before and many times after class. Listening to the instructor play the harmonium, as we together chant kirtans* ending with an OM, helps us practitioners initiate our journey from mind to heart, building a channel inwards, as we start to leave our day behind and step into the present moment.
The overall purpose of Yoga for the Jivamukti is to clear the mind from dirt. The “dirt” being the absence of our true essence, that is our Divine self, that is the union with ourselves in the way we want to connect to ourselves and with others. Jivamukti practice has a strong foundation in self through expression and a strong purpose in finding God in ourselves. For the atheist, this bit can become a bit wishy-washy so we can call God a sense of energy or a force felt higher our individual human story.
In life, according to Jivamukti Yoga, we’re on a journey of self-realization and on this journey we experience two main things, freedom, and suffering. As we want to express ourselves from a place of liberation, we create and connect from the core of who we are, this means that we start moving down from the problem-solving mechanisms of the mind and navigate ourselves to the information stored in our heart, the rest of our body, and through that experience, to our soul.
As we move through the practice, altering our bodies’ chemical states, and gaining kinesthetic skills, the movement brings us a sense of freedom. A freedom found in finding union and liberation from sufferings in dividing ourselves. One of the main purposes of this lineage of Yoga is therefore to find liberation. As Jiva means individual soul, and Mukti means liberation. The exact transliteration of the Sanskrit word from which Jivamukti is derived is, Jivanmuktih means liberation while living.
And what is liberation? When the Jiva realizes that is it not individual but complete. That the illusion of separateness is exactly that, an illusion.
Unveiling the illusion of separateness as we strengthen the relationship with ourselves. That’s the definition of Jivamukti philosophy, as we go through the asanas together, leaving all on the mat, even our minds. It is therefore not about the depth of the posture as we move on, it is about the depth of the meeting we have with ourselves, with the posture as a vehicle for liberation.
As Jiva’s our purpose is to take our own journey towards Mukti, becoming Jivamuktis. The Jiva’s purpose is to with enlightenment of self-liberation take her/himself from suffering, that is living in mind, living in past and future realities, into freedom, or peace. Liberating ourselves into the present moment.
For the Jivamukti to leap from Jiva to Mukti the union needs to go within the Divine self and consciously cultivate a continuous desire for realization of self. Going through the well-timed asanas, the vehicle, to the purpose of a unified self.
The greek word Apocalypse means to uncover, to reveal. The result of this Jivamukti practice is enlightenment through revealing going passed the mind, ego, and judgment, to the heart body, and soul. This really is an apocalyptic event, uncovering of the self into enlightenment that reveals Atman, Aham, I-Am, or the God in you, and in all of us.
Jivamukti promotes therefore contemplation through rhythmic postures, allowing self-expression through movement in a moment of aligned intention from our toes to our spirit. The music, the language used, the energy, the postures – all combined into one launching, firing our spiritual realignment and growth that helps us appreciate the difficulties in our lives and face them with an open heart. Creating a natural channel into our body, into ourselves, helping us to create a space to face all of our adversities.
Sweaty we now find ourselves chanting in community contemplating our newfound state, as we take Yoga off the mat, with a now stronger intention of living from our heart.
The Jivamukti’s classes are held on Fridays at 18.00, so welcome – let’s take on this journey together, facing our unconsciousness, letting ourselves into the presence of the moment experiencing a sense of a higher frequency of ourselves.
So see you on the mat, becoming, and being, a Jiva-mukti.
(Source: Jivamukti Yoga (Book released 2002) Sharon Gannon and David Life. My own experience of the practice.)