Sharon Gannon co-founder Jivamukti Yoga photo by GuzmanNow that my aromatherapy exam is behind me (although results still unknown) I m rediscovering all of the things that I love that have been put on hold since I started my aromatherapy course last year. One of those things is Jivamukti yoga. On my first free Saturday morning in what felt like ages, but what actually was a year, I ran over (literally) to the Jivamukti Yoga centre in Nottinghill, London. Class with Durga was amazing! I ve been a student of various types of yoga over the last 7 years, although I practiced Ashtanga the most. As a former ballet dancer and aerobics instructor, I prefer really dynamic yoga classes (read extremely physically challenging). However Jivamukti yoga is so much more than physical exercise. These are my favorite things about Jivamukti yoga:
Chanting at the beginning of every class the instructor leads the class in a chant. There is a different theme each month and the chants are picked from various Sanskrit texts in line with the theme. This month s theme is (in my words) when something in life seems really, really negative, focus positive energy towards that source of stress. I know, easier said than done! The class made me meditate on the negative energy I was feeling and I managed to squash the bad vibes in the end. The true test however will come Monday morning whether I can keep up the positive energy at work.
Music Originally I found it a bit distracting but I now like the fact that music is played throughout class. It helps keep the flow of class. Music plays a large part in Jivamukti yoga.
Adjustments The instructor walks around the whole class correcting students postures. For large classes there are two instructors, one leading, and the other dedicated solely to adjusting students. Physical adjustments are the best way for students to learn so it s great to have 2 instructors in class.
Massage One of the best parts of doing sun salutations (series of warm up postures) is that the instructor massages Jivamukti China Gel into the students. It s very stimulating and invigorating (thanks to the menthol and camphor) and the scent really perks you up.
Dynamic flow Jivamukti yoga is physically challenging but not in the painful, make-you-want-to-drop kind of way. I think the fact that the class flows seamlessly between postures and doesn t stop helps facilitate this good kind of hard feeling.
Post-class effects When I get up out of savasana (also known as corpse pose for very good reason) which is the last posture of class, I feel like my best possible self. If I m tired or cranky before class starts, then I leave feeling relaxed. If it s a morning class (and I m a morning person) I leave feeling energized.
So there you have it, all of my reasons why I love Jivamukti yoga. In fact I love it so much that every year I m tempted to do the yoga teacher training at the Omega Center in upstate New York. It s the first thing I would sign up for if I was ever made redundant from work. You ve always got to have a fall-back plan, no?