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Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul Paperback – April 23, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (April 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345442083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345442086
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Jivamukti has been a big influence in my life. I’ve read this book twice and expect to read it many more times. It’s the bible of my spiritual practice.”

“David and Sharon are great teachers in the fullest sense of the word–as guides and mentors they challenge and inspire. Their book gives readers a glimpse of the power of yoga to transform lives.”
Cofounder of the Rainforest Foundation

“Sharon and David sing the essence of yoga in their new book Jivamukti Yoga. Their book is amazingly accessible without being compromising to the tradition of yoga. In the same breath I applaud them for their courage to be creative and daring in expressing their unique and gifted voices.”

From the Inside Flap

The long-awaited, complete guide to the popular, vigorous American method of yoga that is deeply rooted in ancient wisdom and scriptures

?In this day and age of health and fitness trends, it is assuring to know that Sharon and David encourage their students to draw inspiration from the classical texts of Yoga and timeless scriptural sources. What I appreciate so much about David and Sharon is how they help their Yoga students to understand and appreciate the wisdom of all the great saints and jivamuktas who have contributed to raising consciousness. Ultimately, it is Self-Realization, that is the true goal of Yoga.?

Creators of the extremely popular Jivamukti Yoga method and cofounders of the New York City studios where it is taught, Sharon Gannon and David Life present their unique style of yoga for the first time in book form. As they explain their intensely physical and spiritual system of flowing postures, they provide inspiring expert instruction to guide you in your practice.

Unlike many books about yoga, Jivamukti Yoga focuses not only on the physical postures but also on how they evolved?the origins of the practices in yoga?s ancient sacred texts and five-thousand-year-old traditions?the psychotherapeutic benefits that accrue with a steady practice, and the spiritual power that is set free when energy flows throughout the mind and body. Jivamukti Yoga, which means ?soul liberation,? guides your body and soul into spiritual freedom, physical strength, peace of mind, better health, and Self-realization?the ultimate goal of any practice. Gannon and Life help you understand each of the practices that comprise the yoga path to enlightenment:
AHIMSA?The Way of Compassion: choosing nonviolence, respecting all life, practicing vegetarianism, living free of prejudice
ASANA?The Way of Connection to the Earth: postures and sequences, breathing, transforming energy, understanding the bandhas
KARMA?The Way of Action: creating good karma, giving thanks
NADAM?The Way of Sacred Music: appreciating the sacred sounds of yoga
MEDITATION?The Way of the Witness: how to sit still and move inward
BHAKTI?The Way of Devotion to God: living with love, grace, and peace

Whatever yoga you practice, Jivamukti Yoga will help you to strengthen and deepen that practice and lead you onto a path of spiritual clarity and self-discovery.

?If there is only one book you read about the practice of Yoga, this should be the one. Sharon and David are deeply dedicated students and teachers of Yoga who have the rare capacity to translate their profound understanding to the reader. This book is for anyone who wishes to find transformation through Yoga. I?m grateful for their work and teaching.?
Co-founder & CEO, Omega Institute

Customer Reviews

I will keep this book on close hand and I'm sure that I will reference it often.
"Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul" is a wonderful book that reflects the path of Yogis David Life and Sharon Gannon.
Scott Masterton
I can heartily recommend this book for anyone who wants to practice Yoga how it was meant to be practiced!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By CPTScott on April 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book Jivamukti Yoga is very different than most yoga books in that it is about Yoga in a more holistic sense. It has some material on asana sequencing (very interesting I might add), but that is the smallest part of the book. I would also agree with others that the photographs have a lot to be desired in their size and the way they are cropped. Not user friendly at all. It seems as they were willing to sacrifice clarity for the sake of being "artsy".
Jivamukti Yoga is more of an overview of the more spiritual aspects of yoga and puts the asana practice in the context of this more complete picture. It truly treats asana as just one limb of yoga practice.
While I enjoyed it on many levels, I must also say that there are many times where I felt the authors got very preachy and sometimes seemed a bit off base to me.
For example, Gannon and Life's view of "Ahimsa" compared to other authors on the subject. Most writing on this concept of non-harming that I've read also stresses not harming oneself, Gannon and Life don't give very much importance to this aspect of it which has a bit of a "martyr-like" attitude to it.
In Desikachar's book "The Heart Of Yoga" he says (I'm paraphrasing) that "Ahimsa also means acting in kindness toward ourselves". and goes on to say for example that " if one is a vegetarian but are in a situation where one must eat meat in order to survive then one must do what they need to do so they can continue to take care of their family and other responsibilities" and goes on to say that "it would show a lack of consideration and arrogance to become stuck on one's principles".
Gannon and Life often seem to be stuck on their principles which I found to be a bit of a turn off.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jody on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This has been a very interesting read for me. I attempted to read the book without thinking about things that I have heard about the authors. Sharon and David are much discussed in yoga circles - they are considered fairly radical - and I have heard many good and bad things about them. I also tried not to let the views of the authors that I don't entirely agree with influence my view of the book. In the end, I was quite please with this book.
First of all, I think the overview of yoga philosophy, is good. This is the main focus of this book. As an introductory book on the philosophy aspect of yoga, it does not go into great depth. The authors believe that this aspect has not been being spread as much as the physical practice of yoga. However, be forewarned, the authors practice veganism as a part of their ahimsa (non-harming) practice and they are strong advocates for animal rights. This stance is presented throughout the book. While I don't entirely agree with them on this, if you read the entire book, they do explain where they are coming from on this issue.
As far as hatha yoga / asana practice / the physical postures of yoga, there is some of that in this book. The authors assume you have studied asana previously. They point out there are many books and teachers availible regarding hatha yoga, and they don't feel compelled to repeat this. What they do is dedecate a few chapters to demonstrate their style of vinyasa krama (linking the postures together with breath in a dance/tai chi like flow series). They give 5 sample 'lessons', three for beginners and two for intermediate/advanced. They also give numerous flow sequences you can put together yourself in various ways or incorporate as a segment into your own practice.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In an era when yoga has become trendy and commercialized it is refreshing that a mainstream publisher offers a book that advocates a return to spiritually oriented yoga practice. Ironically, the authors have created yet another "brand name" yoga while delivering a book that has more style than substance.
I was disappointed with most of the contents of this book. For example, the section on pranayama and bandhas has enough detail to get someone into trouble, but not enough detail to provide real guidance. The section on asana has some useful comments on sequencing, but the descriptions and the tiny, grainy, badly cropped photos are useless.
The text on various aspects of yoga philosophy and practice is uninspired and rather muddled. The section on ahimsa is particularly annoying, with a rather hectoring and judgmental attitude towards non-vegans.
I was especially disappointed with the recommended readings found in Appendix II. A book that is intended to inspire people towards a spiritual path should have a well organized reading list that describes the recommended books in some detail. The provided list has no organization at all, it isn't even properly alphabetized! Nor is there any description of the included books.
Surf on over to the Jivamukti website, there you can purchase some pricey yoga togs so that you can look very stylish on the road to spiritual liberation. The authors may have intended to promote a spiritual approach to yoga, but they've created yet another "brand name" yoga with themselves as "yoga celebrities". If this sort of thing appeals to you, I suggest you check out their other book, The Art of Yoga, which is all style and no substance--but it sure is way cool.
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Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul
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