What is Jivamukti Yoga The Five Tenets Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga is a dynamic and spiritual approach to the ancient practice of yoga. Developed by David Life and Sharon Gannon in the 1980s, this style of yoga combines physical postures, meditation, chanting, and ethical principles to create a holistic and transformative experience. The word “Jivamukti” itself is derived from the Sanskrit words “jiva,” meaning individual soul or living being, and “mukti,” meaning liberation. Jivamukti Yoga, therefore, is often referred to as a path to liberation through compassion for all beings.

Philosophical Foundations:

At the core of Jivamukti Yoga is a strong emphasis on the integration of yoga philosophy into the practice. Life and Gannon were influenced by various spiritual traditions, including traditional Indian philosophy, Buddhism, and modern environmental ethics. The founders sought to create a method that not only nurtures physical well-being but also addresses the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an individual’s life.

The Five Tenets:

Jivamukti Yoga is guided by five central tenets, which serve as a framework for the practice and lifestyle:

  1. Ahimsa (Non-Harming): This principle emphasizes non-violence and compassion towards all living beings, extending beyond the yoga mat to promote kindness and empathy in everyday life.
  2. Bhakti (Devotion): Jivamukti Yoga encourages devotion to a higher power or the divine. Practitioners often incorporate chanting, singing, and prayer into their practice to cultivate a sense of connection and reverence.
  3. Dhyana (Meditation): Meditation is a key component of Jivamukti Yoga, helping individuals quiet the mind, gain self-awareness, and connect with their inner selves. The practice of meditation is woven seamlessly into the physical postures.
  4. Nada (Music): The use of music, especially live music during classes, is a distinctive feature of Jivamukti Yoga. The rhythm and melodies complement the practice, enhancing the overall experience and creating a vibrant and energizing atmosphere.
  5. Shastra (Scripture): The study of ancient yoga scriptures and texts is encouraged to deepen the understanding of yoga philosophy. Jivamukti classes often incorporate readings and discussions on these texts to provide context and insight.

Physical Practice:

Jivamukti Yoga classes typically feature a vigorous and flowing sequence of asanas (postures) that are synchronized with the breath. The sequences are creatively designed to challenge practitioners physically and mentally while promoting flexibility, strength, and balance. The asana practice is infused with spiritual teachings and intention, creating a transformative experience on and off the mat.

Chanting and Music:

Chanting is an integral part of Jivamukti Yoga, and it is used as a tool for concentration, focus, and spiritual connection. The repetitive chanting of mantras, often accompanied by music, serves to elevate the practice to a more transcendent and meditative state.

Community and Activism:

Jivamukti Yoga places a strong emphasis on building a supportive and compassionate community. Practitioners are encouraged to engage in social and environmental activism, aligning with the principle of ahimsa. The Jivamukti community often participates in campaigns for animal rights, environmental sustainability, and social justice.


Jivamukti Yoga offers a unique and holistic approach to yoga, blending physical practice with spiritual teachings, music, and ethical principles. It provides a path for individuals to not only enhance their physical well-being but also cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their connection to the world. Through the integration of philosophy, meditation, and activism, Jivamukti Yoga seeks to guide practitioners on a transformative journey towards liberation and enlightenment.

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