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Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti yoga is an exercise system that combines yoga poses with meditation, chanting, scripture and music. This form of yoga is a vigorous type of hatha yoga that incorporates the physical practice of a vinyasa style into its teaching, in which each movement is coordinated with breathing to continuously flow from one asana to the next. There are five basic principles that Jivamukti yoga teachers incorporate into their classes: non-violence ("ahimsa"), devotion ("bhakti"), meditation ("dhyana"), music ("nada") and scripture ("shastra"). Each jivamukti class is dictated by a theme, which is explored through the use of asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, yoga scripture and music. There are six different types of jivamukti yoga classes. "Beginner" classes follow a set sequence of asanas to familiarize newcomers with this style of yoga. "Basic" classes run for four weeks to teach the fundamentals of jivamukti yoga. "Open" classes include asana, pranayama, meditation, music and scripture based on a monthly theme. "Spiritual warrior" classes focus on sustaining the pace of the set vinyasa sequence during a one hour class, rather than on spiritual guidance. "Private" classes enable an individual to be guided individually by an instructor while attneding a group Jivamukti class. And "meditation" classes teach students to silently repeat the mantra “let-go” while inhaling and exhaling to help them connect with their supreme self. Like other forms of yoga that have grown in global popularity, jivamukti yoga has become increasingly available as a commercialized form of exercise and now carries diverse meanings, both spiritual and secular, in various communities - although, jivamukti yoga retains an explicit spiritual emphasis.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Yoga is estimated to originate during 5th Century BCE, as part of Hinduism and Buddhism, and was introduced to Europe and North American by Indian yoga gurus during the early 20th century. Jivamukti yoga was developed New York City, USA in the 1980s, and has gained global popularity, including in Canada and the GTA.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Jivamukti yoga occurs year round in the GTA, during regular classes at studios and occasional public demonstrations.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Ahimsa yoga; Yogatree

Cultural Significance

Historically, yoga has significant cultural significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. Today, yoga has become a popular mainstream form of exercise that may or may not carry spiritual significance, although jivamukti yoga has an explicit spiritual emphasis.

Is there anything else we should know?



Exercise System
  • Roots Yoga Studio
    1073 Yonge Street
    Toronto, ON M4W 2L2
  • Ahimsa Yoga Whitby
    100 Dundas St. W., 3rd floor
    Whitby, ON L1N 2L9
  • Ahimsa Yoga Toronto
    440 Bloor St. W., 2nd floor
    Toronto, ON M5S 1X5
  • Yogatree
    123 Dundas St. W.
    Toronto, ON M5G 1C4

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