Jivamukti Yoga: A path to enlightenment


A fast moving, demanding yoga practice created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in NYC in 1984, Jivamukti Yoga is highly physical, ethical, and spiritual, combining a vigorous hatha yoga, vinyasa-based physical style with adherence to five central tenets: scripture, devotion, non-harming, music and meditation.

Celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year, the philosophy behind Jivamukti Yoga is that your practice becomes a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. Here in Ibiza, under the expert tuition of qualified instructor Jacqueline Purnell of Yogashala Ibiza, students will learn a flowing style of yoga, practiced to eclectic, exuberant music ranging from ragas, global trance and hip-hop to spoken word and classical. Animal rights, vegetarianism, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism are also emphasised.

“From the minute I saw [founders] David Life and Sharon Gannon on a billboard, I just knew they would be my gurus,” says Jacqueline, who had previously trained extensively with many other teachers including the late Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, Derek Ireland and Shandor Remete. She admits it was David’s tattoos that originally got her attention (not common at the time at all), however the philosophy and practice won her over instantly. “That connection you feel with a guru… you just know when they are the one,” she says.

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Although many open Jivamukti Yoga classes around the world require some knowledge of yoga, Jacqueline teaches in a way that she can incorporate beginners – you won’t be expected to do a full back bend or head stand in your first class. As the only certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher on the island, Jacqueline is in high demand for one-to-one classes in addition to her classes at La Galeria Elefante, Hot Yoga Ibiza and The Garden Of Joy. Teaching to the same high standards you would find in New York or Hollywood means she is often sought out by celebrity holidaymakers looking to continue their practice while on holiday in Ibiza.

“It’s an amazing physical yoga,” she explains of the practice. “Similar to Sivananda, but infused with Bhakti Yoga – the yogic path of love and devotion – and with amazing posturework, it’s designed – as is all yoga – for meditation and is so inspiring. Some of the soundtracks are out of this world… You could be practicing to Mozart, John Lennon or hip hop – but only the positive kind!”

Speaking of positivity, Jivamukti Yoga is also used by its founders as a platform for veganism, animal welfare and rights, supporting Peta and their own charity, Animal Mukti. The duo have created the Wild Woodstock Jivamukti Forest Sanctuary, which is the country ashram for the Jivamukti Yoga School in upstate New York, where wild animals including white tail deer, black bear, turkeys, foxes, raccoons and many other animals and reptiles roam free on 125-acres of land.

Yoga with a conscience… setting you on the path to enlightenment.

Find Jivamukti Yoga classes with Jacqueline Purnell of Yogashala Ibiza on the White Ibiza Yoga Calendar

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