SHARON GANNON AND DAVID LIFE: JIVAMUKTI YOGA
In 1984 Sharon Gannon and David Life created the Jivamukti Yoga Method, which is a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. They are pioneers in teaching yoga as spiritual activism/activation.
The Jivamukti Yoga Method emphasizes asana, scriptural study, devotion, prayer, music, chanting and meditation, as well as animal rights, veganism, environmentalism and political activism. Jivamukti’s passionate focus on the original meaning of the Sanskrit word “asana” as seat, connection, relationship to the earth is as practical as it is radical at this time of global crisis and consciousness shift.
The Jivamukti Yoga Method is taught worldwide at Jivamukti Yoga Schools and affiliated centers, which are in NYC, Charleston, Washington, DC, Toronto, London, Munich, Berlin, Moscow, Russia, Stavanger, Norway, and Sydney.
SHRI K. PATTABHI JOIS
Shri K. Pattabhi Jois studied yoga under his guru Shri Krishnamacharya and also attended the Sanskrit College of Mysore, where he became a professor of Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta.
He and Shri Krishnamacharya developed the Astanga Yoga series based on the purifying practices described in the ancient texts. In 1948, he founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore. In 1958, he wrote his classic book Yoga Mala, which explores Astanga and Yoga philosophy.
In 2007, Guruji became gravely ill, bouncing back just enough to teach a bit more yoga. By the end of the following year, after seven decades of continuous teaching, he had gradually retired from his daily classes, leaving the institute in the capable hands of his daughter Saraswathi and grandson Sharath.
Guruji passed away at home in Mysore on May 18th, 2009 at the age of 93. His death came as a tragic loss to the worldwide yoga community. His entire life was an endeavor to imbue his students with commitment, consistency and integrity – and to actualize in his own life the conduct of a householder yogi. It is by virtue of his undying faith and enthusiasm that the practice that he learned from Krishnamacharya has remained alive. And thus, by his devotion to the daily teaching of yoga, his legendary works will remain alive too.
Iyengar (Guruji) is a living legend who has taught yoga in unique way to all his students. He finds the meaning of the yoga sutras by his practical search and regular practice of yoga. Thus, he has helped all to experience the wisdom of the yoga sutras. His style of teaching yoga is called “Iyengar Yoga” Guruji was a sincere and committed practitioner. His own practice helped him to explore and achieve perfection in yoga asanas. This is reflected in his teachings all over these years.
Among the many yogis who are credited with bringing yoga to the west, the influence of Professor T. Krishnamacharya is probably the most profound. He is today recognized as one of the main contributors to the modern teachings of yoga and regarded as the Grandfather of yoga as we know it today.
Born in Mysore, India in 1888 in a family where yoga was an important discipline, T. Krishnamacharya began very young to learn yoga as traditionally transmitted from father to son. The young pupil starts very early to be interested in the study of Indian philosophy, and he rapidly masters ancient texts in their original language. After completing his studies at the Royal college of Mysore, he left for the mountains in Tibet, Mount Kailash, where he went to meet his teacher, Sri Ramamohan Brahmachari, from which he learned yoga and lived as a member of the family for more than 7 years. This master then asked Krishnamacharya to go back to his country, to marry and have a family, and continue the teaching of yoga according to the principles that he had learned. Being very capable and intelligent, T.Krishnamacharya started to teach, and his talent soon brought him to become teacher and yoga advisor at the Royal Palace of Mysore (1924).
The particularity of his yoga is to offer a new vision of yoga applications. He also opens the doors of this teaching to a larger public: women, non-Hindus and also strangers from western countries, people who did not traditionally practice yoga. Regarded as the grandfather of modern yoga, his teaching has reached countless yoga enthusiasts mainly through his students B.K.S. Iyengar, Indra Devi, K. Pattabhi Jois and T.K.V. Desikachar. Professor T. Krishnamacharya has taught until his last days, he died in 1989 at the age of 101.