This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Jivamukti Workshop taught by Advanced Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, Olga Oskorbina. The energy in the room felt welcoming and there was a sense of openness to what would be experienced during our time together. Most of the students that participated were new to this method of yoga. Class began with a brief introduction on what Jivamukti Yoga is, which we learned is a method created by artists Sharon Gannon and David Life from New York in 1984. With background in dance and music, the creators Sharon and David brought creativity and grace to the practice. In addition, they weaved in a spiritual practice based on five values or tenets. Olga briefly explained each one, the first being ahimsa- non-violence; bhakti- devotion to something greater/higher intention; nāda- developing deep inner listening skills, whether it’s to music or simply our breath; dhyana- meditation, and shastra- study of the scriptures.
Class began with a spiritual teaching from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and as we chanted together, I felt the energy of the room become still and present. Through our voices and breath, we united as one being and from there the students took their first downward facing dog. It was a powerful and moving way to start the class. The asana practice flowed from surya namaskars to a series of standing postures. Students were then guided in preparatory practices for backbends and inversions. The inversion practice was great since it allowed students to connect with one another through partner work. In groups of three, students supported one another into handstand and forearm stand. It was beautiful to see the connection and energy shared in the room. After an incredible physical- purifying practice, students were lead into shavasana. They took rest in their bodies while teacher Olga and her assistants provided hands-on assists and massages to help the students further relax and feel a greater sense of connection.
The most memorable moment for me was when class ended, where I observed students sitting on their mats and their faces filled with inner peace and gratitude. My experience today was of a coming together as one, that even though our perception may make us think things are a certain way, through the practice of asana, meditation, study of scripture, devotion to our higher intention, and listening to the voice within, we are led to reconnect with who we truly are, which is pure love, and with that love we open our hearts to share compassion for the happiness and freedom for all beings.
If you have the opportunity to experience Jivamukti Yoga, I highly recommend it during your time at Barcelona Yoga Conference. Olga will be leading one more class on Sunday July 23rd at 8 am. Regular classes are also offered at the centre of Jivamukti Yoga here in Barcelona!
Olga Oskorbina (Biography)
Barcelona Yoga Conference (Program)