Each Jivamukti Basic class is part of a four-week fundamentals course that explores a different theme each week:
- week one: standing asanas
- week two: forward bending asanas
- week three: backward bending asanas
- week four: inversions, meditation and "putting it all together."
Whereas in the Beginner Vinyasa and Open class vinyasa is emphasized, in the Basic class alignment is the emphasis. Students are taught “how to do” asanas as well as the use of props. The Basic Class provides the underlying structure to help a student be able to eventually enter into an Open class intelligently and safely. Beginners are encouraged to take all four weeks of the Basic course. Intermediate and advanced students will also benefit from exploring the alignment essentials presented in these classes. It is advisable that a student register for the full 4 week program starting with week one, but a student can also drop into any class at any time during the month and can also take as many classes as they want each week. This class is suitable for beginners, but open to all levels of practitioner. The length of a Basic class may differ at different centers, so please check the schedule for the center you are attending.
Whether you're a beginner, deciphering the difference between vrksasana (tree) and sirshasana (headstand) or an advanced yogi who can put both feet behind their head, the Jivamukti Open class welcomes you, as it is open to practitioners of all levels.
You work at your own pace, following the teacher's verbal as well as hands-on guidance. Asana options will be provided for beginners, intermediate and advanced students.
A typical Open class incorporates the five tenets of Jivamukti Yoga:
- shastra (scripture)
- bhakti (devotion)
- ahimsa (kindness)
- nada (music)
- dhyana (meditation)
An Open class presents classical yoga teachings as relevant to one’s life on and off the mat, drawn from the Focus of the Month essay, supported by chanting, breath awareness, flowing vinyasa sequences, alignment exploration, hands-on assistance, relaxation and meditation. All Open classes include 14 points—asanas, meditation and spiritual teachings—in a sequence creatively designed by the teacher. Exuberant, eclectic music plays an integral role: you might practice to a shifting soundtrack of ragas, global trance, hip-hop, spoken word, George Harrison, Sting, Krishna Das, Donna de Lory, Michael Franti, Bill Laswell, Alice Coltrane and Mozart.
The class is called “Open” because it is open and suitable to all levels of practitioner. Even so, beginning level students should know that there will not be much detailed “how to do” descriptions; for that a student is advised to attend a Basic or Beginner Vinyasa Class. The length of an Open class may differ at different centers, so please check the schedule for the center you are attending.
Spiritual Warrior Class
Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior classes are designed for busy people who only have an hour to practice. The class is fast paced and invigorating and is certainly a “get-in-shape” class. The structure is a fixed set sequence instructed in a vinyasa style. It is a fully balanced class which includes asana warm-up, chanting, setting of intention, surya namaskar, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, inversions, meditation and relaxation. The teacher focuses on keeping the pace moving and does not stop to give spiritual discourses. Since the asana sequence is always the same, a student will pick it up quite quickly after only a couple of classes.
In many Jivamukti Yoga Centers this class is also offered as the International Spiritual Warrior class, which is taught in languages other than the national language of the country while maintaining standard Sanskrit terminology, making it a wonderful language immersion experience. You could actually learn another language by taking this class regularly. Many yoga teachers find that they learn essential key terms in other languages to enable them to teach yoga in foreign countries. Spiritual Warrior and International Spiritual Warrior Classes are best for intermediate and advanced students, although beginners as well as anyone with a sense of adventure are welcome! Spiritual Warrior classes are one hour in length.