What is Jivamukti Yoga?
The term Jivamuktiâ€ comes from the Sanskrit words Jivaâ€ meaning individual soulâ€ and muktiâ€ meaning liberationâ€. The term Jivamuktiâ€ means liberation while livingâ€. It is a very recently developed yoga style, a modern form of the more traditional Ashtanga Yoga. It is a rigorous form of Yoga which also retains some practices from its traditional roots like meditation and chanting. Its practices arfe also similar to the Hatha Yoga style.
It was started in 1984 by two New Yorkers named David Life and Sharon Gannon. They incorporated it into their studies of Ashtanga Yoga under Shri. K. Pattabhi Jois. It emphasizes on the effective application of learned philosophy into daily life along with greater awareness and attainment of a state of enlightenment. The aim of the practice of Jivamukti Yoga is to make the individual feel physically and mentally refreshed after every practice session.
Just like a lot of other Yoga styles, Jivamukti style helps in increasing flexibility of the body. It has three basic components that should be incorporated into every practice session. These are flexibility training, cardiovascular workouts and weight training. A beginner can be guided to use and improve in all these three. But as an individual progresses further, the amount of time spent on cardiovascular and weights should be increased and the exercises should be more intense to be able to make progress. It is, however, difficult to make much changes in the exercises for flexibility over a period of time.
Each session of Jivamukti Yoga usually has a theme. This theme is explored through Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), understanding of Yogic scriptures, chanting, meditation and sometimes even with the use of music. It is a vigorous and strenous form of exercise which also emphasizes on philosophy.
This style of Yoga practice is very popular, especially in the US. A lot many Hollywood celebrities practise this form of Yoga. The founders have trained many individuals to become teachers who have spread this form in gyms and yoga studios all over the US.
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