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on September 4, 2015
The integration of eastern and western principles has been simmering in the melting pot of yoga the past hundred years. A key moment in the progress of yoga is Jivamukti Yoga in the East Village of Manhattan in the early 1990's. The torch has been passed and the next generation is ready to carry the light forward.
This volume is both a practical guide with visual reference, diagrams and images of yoga sequencing, as well as a theoretical statement about the aims and means of yoga. It could be used as a source text for a general study of yoga in a scholastic or university program as well as a modern vocational yoga teacher training. The book is also a personal journey to honor three great Indian gurus and includes practical advice on how or why to choose a yoga teacher.
Although I am biased as a 20+ year practitioner of Jivamukti and a 10+ year teacher, I stand by my objectivity in assessing this volume to be the best overall guide to yoga available today.
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on March 24, 2018
This is the best yoga book I have ever owned -- and have MANY of them! Sharon and David provide an accessible and aspirational 'how to' manual for launching on your own journey, balancing all 8-limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. I have been practicing yoga for almost 15 years, and yet this book (and my teacher, who is Jivamukti-trained), have exponentially expanded my practice. I am deeply grateful to Sharon and David for this book and for training my teacher, and I will rely upon it until I have the opportunity to practice in person with them, some time.
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on September 20, 2013
Jivamukti Yoga is a relatively new practice, but it is based on the ancient and sacred teachings of the Yoga Sutra: non-harming, and the settling of the mind to uncover our true nature. The teachings are not watered down to make them more palatable to the Western temperament. I appreciate this. The physical practice is vigorous. As far as the book itself, it is well-written. The photos of the posture sequences are a bit small, but they give the reader a sense of the sequencing. If you really want to experience Jivamukti Yoga practice, I recommend getting one of their videos out of the library, or better yet get to a class if there is one near you.
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on October 25, 2004
This book is unique among Yoga books as some topics come out in more detail with more of the Author's personal experience. Such as Karma (action), Ahimsa (Non-violence), Prana (life force), Vinyasa Krama (the act of sequencing), etc. The coverage is more extensive than most of the typical yoga books. A whole chapter is devoted to each of these topics and more. The authors state that the book itself is not really about the postures but what (all) is essential in liberating the soul (Jiva mukti - life/soul liberation).

A very unique chapter is about the Guru. This chapter eloquently highlights the characteristics you should look for in a Guru. The authors point out the fact that your intuition apart from the intellect itself must play a role. Another point you don't read often is the fact that a Guru must have attained enlightenment. While very few teachers in the modern age have attained enlightenment, Sharon and David point out the need for the Guru to be in close touch with the scriptures as a substitute.

Being strong proponents of non-violence and animal rights you can expect a good deal of coverage on ahimsa. Very few Yoga teachers prescribe a vegetarian diet; Sharon and David prescribe it as an must for a true Yogi.

The book is complete with a superb collection of photographs and many charts of asanas for different focus - backbending, forward bending, twists and such. A quite comprehensive reference list and a comprehensive translation of sanskrit terms ends the well written and eloquent presentation.

The cover photos while beautiful is needlessly catchy! In all, an eloquent discourse on many aspects of Yoga. It would be a complete book if the authors had an as in-depth commentary on the other yamas and niyamas, the rules and observations as some of those in the book.
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on September 18, 2016
Yoga is not what it appears. This was a learning tool for me, at times the Sanskrit was a little difficult as I have not ever read any of the teachers and books they talk about in this book. I feel the passion for yoga from the writers.
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on December 16, 2009
This is an excellent book setting out the personal, spiritual, political, psychological, ethical, musical and physical aspects of Jivamukti yoga. It is highly readable, well laid out and accessible. But not simplistic. It is a solid, fascinating read that weaves yoga, philosophy, ancient terms, quotations and modern life issues seamlessly into a lovely whole. Kind of like the Jivamukti practice itself.

Now - when are they going to release a DVD of their full length Jivamukti class? Soon please - for those of us whose nearest Jivamukti accredited teachers are an hour and a half drive away.

Certain chapters such as the one on Karma and the one on vegetarianism stay in your mind and while confronting, work away at you. Mine chapters on these topics are covered in myriad margin notes. As a farm raised girl I thought some of the comments about not using milk from cows or eggs from chickens because of cruel animal practices reflected a very old view of choices about these options. For example, in Australia we have options of free range organic eggs certified as being from chickens who do run around outside in the sun, eat natural food only and walk voluntarily to their bird cages at night for food, shelter, fresh straw and to avoid being attacked by foxes. I of course agree totally with their comments about battery farming of hens as being cruel and unacceptable. Similarly their material on cow milk production did not cover cruelty organic free options now available. I read recently that the Dalai Lama had tried to be vegetarian but failed, so I guess he and I are struggling with the ethics of this. It would be terrific if in an updated version of the book they delved into such options so those of us not quite there yet have a pathway to get us there which is not the cold turkey route.
The authors are magnificent physical specimens so the arty black and white photography is not only aesthetically pleasing, it shadows the muscles starkly, so you can see the definitions appropriate for each pose. The break out boxes are useful for added detail but the font size is miniscule. I had to use a magnifying glass to be able to read them. The break out boxes break up the page in interesting ways, so look great, but the tiny font size means many readers could miss the detail contained within. It would be great to have the break out box contents reappear at the end of each chapter as Endnotes at the normal font size.
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on May 23, 2007
I was thrilled to discover these two delightful individuals. While I am attracted to yoga, I cannot fully immerse myself in yogic philosophy that does not emphasize kindness to all creatures. Sharon and David are people who have expectations from the human race, they are not "dumbing down" yoga practice to fit the needs of the public. They are asking us to contemplate the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and to consider all of the other people and animals on the planet. They seek to empower us, believing that our daily choices can make an impact on the world. I have often put down yoga/meditation books before, discouraged that they make statements like "it is wrong to kill a fly" but acceptable to eat meat, or give money to causes that promote suffering and death. I perceive that attitude to almost condone it, as long as you didn't directly kill the animal or didn't directly participate in the slave labor, etc...That is a big turn off to me, spiritual leaders that aren't bold enough to stand up for basic rights. Kudos to Sharon & David-I am sure there were many people who thought these two wouldn't make it standing up for what they believe in. But sincerity pays off and I am just so thrilled to have found them. They are an inspiration.
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on March 6, 2018
I enjoyed this book.
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on August 19, 2017
Love this book
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on March 17, 2018
Very advanced yoga
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