The gurus and founders of the Jivamukti Yoga method are Sharon Gannon and David Life. They met in 1983 in New York City and in 1984 created Jivamukti Yoga.
As a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, Jivamukti Yoga is grounded in the original meaning of the Sanskrit word asana as “seat, connection” —relationship to the Earth. Earth implies all of life.
The Five Tenets of Jivamukti Yoga
This core philosophy is expressed through five tenets which form the foundation of Jivamukti Yoga. Jivamukti teachers embody these tenets, so that they color all of his or her teachings, whether in Basic classes, Open classes, other classes, workshops, or even just interactions with others in the Jivamukti community.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1914—2009)
Ahhhh Samadhi. Yoga is Samadhi. God is One. Yoga is One. Philosophy is One. That’s All.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois studied yoga under his guru Sri Krishnamacharya and also attended the Sanskrit College of Mysore, where he became a professor of Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta. He and Sri Krishnamacharya developed the Ashtanga Yoga vinyasa series based on the purifying practices described in the ancient texts, which they discovered.
Shri Brahmananda Saraswati (—1993)
Nobody is a fool and nobody is wise. It is the space, which makes you foolish or wise. If you have space within your mind, then you become wise, and if you have no space in your mind, then you become “otherwise”.
Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, originally from Uttar Pradesh, North India, had an extensive background in Eastern and Western medicine. He practiced medicine as Dr. Ramamurti Mishra for many years in India and the USA until he took sannyas (renunciation) and became Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati.
Swami Nirmalananda (1924—1997)
Love not anyone, not even God! Our picking and choosing love brings misery. Instead, let God love you. Be Love itself.
Swami Nirmalananda believed in the potency of Self rule, and he called himself the “Anarchist Swami”. He was a naturalist, a vegan and a mauni —he practiced silence for 11 years. From his solitary ashram deep in the wild forest in south India where he lived with Bambi, his deer companion, Swami Nirmalananda spread his message about peace and non-violence through letters he wrote to world leaders and followers around the world.