David Life is a co-founder (with Sharon Gannon) of the Jivamukti School of Yoga and co-director of the Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York. Born in a small town in Michigan, Life – who worked for many years as an artist; moved to New York with his then-wife Kathy in 1980. The couple quickly launched Life Cafe in Manhattan's East Village, which became one of the epicenters of the East Village's thriving artistic scene (the cafe was later immortalized in Jonathan Larson's play "Rent"). Life left his partnership in the cafe in 1984 to establish the Jivamukti School with Gannon. He has since taught yoga to celebrities such as Sting, Madonna, Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington, and Donna Karan. Life is a longstanding member of PETA; along with Gannon, he set up a 76-acre wildlife forest sanctuary in upstate New York.
David Life: For me, you know when I was an artist, a lot of what I did was collage. I would bring together disparate elements. And then when they got side-by-side, there was a kind of magical child born from those disparate elements. And that’s my creative process. So I’ll bring in some music – maybe unexpected music. And I would bring in some readings. I might take five books and just randomly open to different pages. I might go for a walk. And when these things are placed side-by-side, interestingly enough in the best of circumstances there’s a magical child. And that’s my creative process . . . it’s collage. It’s like being immersed in life rather than separating yourself. A person that I look to for inspiration? Definitely Sharon Gannon. Oh Sharon is the prime mover of Jivamukti yoga. It was her magical child. She motivates me on a daily basis with her high hopes and her optimism. I tend to be a little bit pessimistic, and I get mired in that a little bit. “What’s the use?” And Sharon always brings me back to, “Well what are you gonna do right now? In the next few minutes, what could you do to make the world a better place?” And she’s constantly filled with new ideas, and new possibilities, and new projects – so many projects. I have to run to keep up to her. Recorded on: 10/31/07