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The long-awaited, complete guide to the popular, vigorous American method of yoga that is deeply rooted in ancient wisdom and scriptures. "In this day and age of health and fitness trends, it is assuring to know that Sharon and David encourage their students to draw inspiration from the classical texts of Yoga and timeless scriptural sources. What I appreciate so much about David and Sharon is how they help their Yoga students to understand and appreciate the wisdom of all the great saints and jivamuktas who have contributed to raising consciousness. Ultimately, it is Self-Realization, that is the true goal of Yoga."-SRI SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA. Creators of the extremely popular Jivamukti Yoga method and cofounders of the New York City studios where it is taught, Sharon Gannon and David Life present their unique style of yoga for the first time in book form. As they explain their intensely physical and spiritual system of flowing postures, they provide inspiring expert instruction to guide you in your practice.Unlike many books about yoga, Jivamukti Yoga focuses not only on the physical postures but also on how they evolved-the origins of the practices in yoga's ancient sacred texts and five-thousand-year-old traditions--the psychotherapeutic benefits that accrue with a steady practice, and the spiritual power that is set free when energy flows throughout the mind and body. Jivamukti Yoga, which means "soul liberation," guides your body and soul into spiritual freedom, physical strength, peace of mind, better health, and Self-realization--the ultimate goal of any practice. Gannon and Life help you understand each of the practices that comprise the yoga path to enlightenment: AHIMSA--The Way of Compassion: choosing nonviolence, respecting all life, practicing vegetarianism, living free of prejudice. ASANA--The Way of Connection to the Earth: postures and sequences, breathing, transforming energy, understanding the bandhas. KARMA--The Way of Action: creating good karma, giving thanks. NADAM--The Way of Sacred Music: appreciating the sacred sounds of yoga. MEDITATION--The Way of the Witness: how to sit still and move inward. BHAKTI--The Way of Devotion to God: living with love, grace, and peace. Whatever yoga you practice, Jivamukti Yoga will help you to strengthen and deepen that practice and lead you onto a path of spiritual clarity and self-discovery. "If there is only one book you read about the practice of Yoga, this should be the one. Sharon and David are deeply dedicated students and teachers of Yoga who have the rare capacity to translate their profound understanding to the reader. This book is for anyone who wishes to find transformation through Yoga. I'm grateful for their work and teaching."--STEPHAN RECHTSCHAFFEN, MD Co-founder & CEO, Omega Institute.
More than 200 delicious vegan recipes from the world-renowned founder of the Jivamukti yoga method and the New York City Jivamuktea Café Since 1984, Jivamukti yoga has been synonymous with a new way of living: peacefully, healthfully, and consciously. Jivamukti's dedicated instructors and message of kindness have inspired a global revolution. In 2006, Sharon Gannon and David Life opened the Jivamuktea Café to complement their yoga school as a living expression of how compassionate spiritual activism can be put to practical use. It, too, was an immediate success. The peaceful ambiance, the camaraderie, and, most of all, the delicious, hearty fare struck a chord with patrons who were thrilled to eliminate meat and dairy from their diet without sacrificing taste. Thousands of customers--including Russell Simmons, award-winning film director Darren Aronofsky, and Eco Spokesmama Chloé Jo Davis--have become devoted fans of Gannon's cruelty-free burritos, chocolate mousse, and flower salads. Now, for the first time, Gannon presents the secrets behind the café's acclaimed menu--and also showcases her own home cooking, with recipes she's been making for family and friends for decades. Stalwart vegans--as well as the millions of vegetarians and omnivores who eat vegan part-time for its health and environmental benefits--will embrace Gannon's accessible, delicious, and spiritually powerful recipes.
Drawing upon her studies of Vedic traditions, Sharron Gannon explores how the physical and spiritual practice of Yoga is historically and structurally tied to a vegetarian lifestyle. Integral to one another, both Yoga and Vegetarianism form a framework for physical and spiritual attunement, and when practiced as a whole provide engender an incomparably healthy lifestyle. Samadhi is the aim of the Yoga practice. It is a Sanskrit word meaning 'same as the highest'. It is the identification of the individual with the Absolute supreme consciousness which is truth, knowledge and unending bliss. The first step in Patanjali's system of Yoga is Ahimsa, which means the practice of non-harming and nonviolence. This is the reason vegetarianism is a main tenet of Yoga. You simply cannot eat another being without harming them first. The practices of Yoga are meant to be practices, meaning you work toward the attainment of perfection, knowing that perfection may never come. Yoga has been called the perfection of action. All actions originate as thoughts, so a perfect action must come from a perfect thought. What is a perfect thought? A perfect thought is one that is free of selfish desire, anger and hate. We return to Ahimsa as the means to perfect action. See yourself in others, all others, and then go beyond seeing. BE yourself in others until there are no others, until there is only Love, only One. The single most important part of your yoga practice is the strict adherence to a vegetarian diet, a diet free of needless cruelty, harm and injustice. Ahimsa is not an optional part of the program, it is the first step.
Let's slow down and ask some basic questions about the whole idea of a yoga assist--because offering and receiving great assists depends first on knowing what an assist is. Back in the old days, yoga assists were called corrections. The idea was that the student was doing something wrong and the teacher could manipulate the wrongness away. Later came the word adjustment, which is a little better, conveying that the student is on the right track and some changes are needed. In this book, world-renowned Jivamukti Yoga practitioners Sharon Gannon and David Life use the word assist to communicate the idea that in yoga there are actually two beings interacting together on various levels of consciousness to foster a decrease in avidya, mis-knowing, and an increase in vidya, or the knowing principle. A yoga assist, then, is action taken in a microcosmic relationship that reveals macrocosmic truths. It is action undertaken in mutuality with the best of intentions and the blessing of the teacher's teachers.The giving of yoga is an art. Yoga assists are not static; they comprise a flowing dance of body, breath, and energy. They are based on continuous focus and awareness of the relationship between partners in the process. It takes two to tango! As in tango, in each encounter between yoga student and teacher, there is an equation of reciprocity. Whether we receive or give an assist is an active process in the resolution of a relationship, a transmission, a dance. In this sense, the relationship between teacher and student is a microcosm of the flowing interrelation among all people, all species, all living beings. Through this book, with the "assistance" of Sharon and David, practitioners will deepen their understanding of the fundamental principles of yoga assists and apply them in practice and in service to others.
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