newest entry 2002-07-02 3:02 p.m.

I just had to add here that I've been reading the Jivamukti book today, and I will amend what I said about David and Sharon being pretentious. They are sometimes pretentious, a little dramatic, but in the final analysis I think their hearts are in the right place, and they certainly have given a lot to the world.

Much of what I dislike about the Jivamukti approach centers on the cult of celebrity they've built up around themselves--the page on their website, for example,dedicated entirely to listing the famous people who've taken classes there, as if the only reason you'd want to go was to spot Molly Shannon...And the way they have fixated on the Indian trappings of yoga, as if yoga were essentially an Indian experience rather than a human experience.

I also feel that, even though Jivamukti teachers spend a good portion of their classes yapping about spiritual matters and whipping around the Sanskrit phrases, the atmosphere in a J-mukti class is anything but calm, spiritual or loving--it's the most competitive yoga atmosphere I've ever had, even worse than Bikram, and the teachers encourage it by playing up to the more advanced students. The classes can be really fun, don't get me wrong. And I have never taken a class with Sharon or David--maybe they are different.

Oh, and one more thing: I really don't like when teachers play music in their classes! But that's just me.

I would suggest to anyone who thinks Jivamukti is a spiritual place to take a few classes at a place like Sivananda, where, without a single mention of God or Brahman, the teachers are able to convey real spirituality.

Am I ranting? I don't mean to, honestly. All yoga is good. I just need to get this stuff off my chest.

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