What is yoga?
Gannon is a renowned yoga master, instructor and animal rights activist. In 1984, she and her partner 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 JY Method emphasizes vinyasa, 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 and consciousness shift. The Jivamukti Yoga Method is taught worldwide at Jivamukti Yoga Schools in NYC, Detroit, Toronto, London, Berlin and Munich. The Jivamukti practice is also available on DVDs Yoga Journal has recognized Gannon and Life, as innovators in Yoga and "The New York Times" says, "Without Jivamukti, yoga in the U.S. would still be the obscure practice of a few."
"Time Magazine" recognized Jivamukti Yoga as one of the nine methods of Hatha Yoga taught in the world today. JY is featured in the acclaimed documentary film: What is Yoga? Sharon is a featured yogini in various books: "Yoga" by Linda Sparrowe, "American Yoga" by Carrie Schneider, "Yogini" by Janice Gates and "Women to Women" by Christina Lessa.
Question: What is yoga?
Sharon Gannon: If we want to be happy, then we have to delve deeper into the very causes of happiness. And as we are delving into those causes, we discover how we’re unhappy.
When people say, “Well I want to do yoga. Could I do yoga?” I say, “No, you can’t do yoga because yoga is the natural state.”
What we can do are various practices which may reveal to us where we are resisting that natural state of the connectedness of all of life really is that natural state – knowing ourselves as connected.
So we can do things which can reveal to us where we’re disconnected. Like we can discover where we’re unhappy in the pursuit of happiness and then attempt to get at the cause of perhaps those reasons of why we’re unhappy. And we will find that it all really boils down to our relationships.
I’m not speaking of just our romantic relationships or our relationships with our husbands or wives, or girlfriends or boyfriends, or significant others. I’m talking about our relationship to life itself, to all beings, to the world itself; not just other human beings, but animal beings – all of the various aspects of life that we share this planet with.
Recorded on: October 31, 2007
It all boils down to our relationships.
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