What is Real? The Story of Jivamukti Yoga had its Manila screening courtesy of Bliss Yoga and JaiMala last November 20. Directed by Jay Mac, the film documentary gives its viewers a glimpse of how Jivamukti Yoga started and how it played a role in the rise of yoga in the West during the 20th century.
Here are five things about Jivamukti Yoga you need to know about:
1. It is founded by two artists from New York
Before they became the renowned gurus of Jivamukti Yoga, David Life and Sharon Gannon are artists who met (and eventually fell in love with each other) at David’s Life Café in New York in 1983. Back then, yoga was just starting to find its place in western culture. It got both of their attention that they decided to go to India where, a year later, they established what is now known as Jivamukti Yoga.
2. Its core philosophy is enlightenment through compassion to others
Based from testimonies of teachers and students of Jivamukti Yoga, one of the core teachings they practice is enlightenment through compassion for other people. They exercise, and teach that you treat every person well, helping others towards the good.
3. It encourages a vegan lifestyle
The exercise of compassion is not only towards human beings, but also towards animals and the earth. That is why they encourage the practice of a vegan lifestyle as a way of protecting animals while at the same time keeping the body, soul, and mind healthy.
4. It helps people who’ve lost their way become better individuals
One of the key details in the documentary is that most of the people who participate and practice Jivamukti Yoga are the ones who have experienced rut in life. Those who’ve hit some dead end and needed a way out. Jivamukti Yoga offers a way to ‘healing’ and become better individuals.
Roland Dela Cruz, the director of Bliss Yoga, shared during an interview that yoga helped him move past a difficult break-up he experienced. And since then, yoga has shaped him to become a better person than he was before.
5. It is a method of yoga
Often mistaken as a cult by some, Jivamukti Yoga is actually a method of yoga. It is a combination of different teachings that David and Sharon learned under the tutelage of the three gurus they have had in their life: Swami Nirmalanada, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati.
Check out the trailer below: