Jivamukti’s core philosophy is expressed through five tenets which form the foundation of the teachings and color any yoga class given. The five tenets, not presented in any particular order of importance, are:
- AHIMSA: A nonviolent, compassionate lifestyle extending to other animals, the environment and all living beings, emphasizing ethical vegetarianism (veganism) and animal rights.
- BHAKTI: Acknowledgment that God/Self-realization is the goal of all yoga practices; can be expressed through chanting, the setting of a high intention for the practice or though other devotional practices.
- DHYANA: Meditation: connecting to that eternal unchanging reality within.
- NADA: The development of a sound body and mind through deep listening; can be incorporated in a class using recorded music, spoken word, silence or even the teacher’s voice.
- SHASTRA: Study of the ancient yogic teachings (Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads).
The Jivamukti Yoga method was developed in the mid-eighties in New York by the iconic couple Sharon Gannon and David Life, both yogis, artists, musicians, writers and environmentalists. Their gurus are Shri K. Pattabhis Jois, Shri Swami Nirmalananda and Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati.