“Jivamukti yoga is a freestyle vinyasa flow that is unapologetically spiritual, with a nice soundtrack to go with it.” These are the words that YuMee Chung, advanced certified Jivamukti yoga teacher, used to describe the practice which she and her husband Scott graciously introduced to a small group of yogis on a recent visit to Luang Prabang.
As we learnt, Jivamukti is always practiced to music, and to the delight of our group, we were to be treated to live music, courtesy of Scott and his guitar. Our practice began by singing a contemplative mantra, “So Hum”, which translates to “I am that.” And as YuMee explained, if “I am that,” then “I am not this.” “I am not the clothes that I wear, I am not the color of my skin, I am not the things that I own, I am not my emotions, and so on and so forth.” An invocation to Shiva, the Hindu deity known as “the destroyer” and “the transformer” further inspires the release of that which no longer serves us, encouraging positive transformation.
Vinyasa loosely translates to “an intelligent sequencing of postures.” We move from one asana, or yoga posture, to another in an unbroken and intuitive rhythm. In vinyasa flow, the transitions are just as important as the postures themselves. Off the mat, YuMee eloquently reminded us “not to hang out in the Kodak moments in life as the preparations before and the cleanup after are just as sacred.”
At certain points during the practice, my focus shifted momentarily to Scott, who flawlessly serenaded us with Bossa Nova, a tune by John Lennon and several other unique numbers that I couldn’t quite identify, but relished all the same. It was joyful and lighthearted. And with YuMee walking around and giving us gentle adjustments and massages with scented oils, I’m sure that I was not the only person melting happily into the Jivamukti experience.
To learn more about YuMee Chung and Jivamukti yoga, visit http://padmani.com/
Blog post by Julie (juliehana.com)