Transform Yourself with Jivamukti Yoga DVD Review

With David Life and Sharon Gannon

Transform Yourself With Jivamukti Yoga DVD
Transform Yourself With Jivamukti Yoga DVD. Courtesy of Amazon.com

David Life and Sharon Gannon are the creators of Jivamukti Yoga, a flowing, fast paced, vinyasa-style practice that was at the leading egde of contemporary yoga’s current popularity. (To find out more about how the origins of this style, read my interview with Life and Gannon.) Jivamukti has been headquartered in New York City since the 1980s and also has official studios in Jersey City, Barcelona, London, Berlin, Munich, and Mexico.

Jivamukti-style class can be found all over the world, courtesy of the scores of graduates of their prestigious teaching training program. Now you can see for yourself what this style of yoga is all about thanks to their first widely distributed video, Transform Yourself with Jivamukti Yoga with David Life and Sharon Gannon.

A Look at the Yoga

The video gets right into it with a series of sun salutations. Practicing in what looks to be an ersatz harem, Life and Gannon demonstrate each pose accompanied by live musicians playing traditional Indian instruments. They make excellent visual models but don't provide much in the way of verbal instruction. Beginning and advanced versions of each posture are demonstrated side by side, by Gannon and Life respectively, which is an extremely helpful teaching technique since it offers options and an idea of where you might be able to take a pose when you are ready.

It’s nice to see the teachers get a little sweaty over the course of the hour-long video, since it shows that they are working as hard as you are.

One of Jivamukti’s strengths is its creative, intelligent sequencing, and this video class is no exception. Life and Gannon lead you through sun salutations, standing poses, hip openers, a little balancing, quite a lot of back bending, forward bends, and inversions before ending with a seated meditation and savasana.

This progression and the level of intensity througout are typical of Jivamukti classes I've taken.

Is This Video for You?

Although this DVD is labeled for “Experienced Beginners and Beyond,” I would emphasize the “experienced” and "beyond" parts. The sun salutations include jumping back and forward and chaturangas from the very start, so a familiarity with vinyasa yoga and an intermediate level of physical fitness are assumed. In voice-over instruction (you can choose whether to hear Life or Gannon, which helps keeps things interesting), poses are often called by their Sanskrit names. I'd recommend his video to yoga students at the intermediate to advanced level who enjoy a vigorous, flowing practice. If that's what you're looking for, it provides a great sequence of poses and serves as an excellent introduction to the Jivamukti method.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. 

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