I took my first Jivamukti class at Flow Yoga. The teacher was Jill Abelson, who happens to be featured in the December issue of Yoga Journal. There are only two certified Jivamukti teachers in the DC area, and they both call Flow Yoga their home studio. The 300-hour residential teacher training program is demanding and requires big bucks and tons of commitment.
For those who are familiar with this style of yoga, Jivamukti flows from a New York City yoga studio run by Sharon Gannon and David Life. Despite being on the trendy edge of urban chic, Gannon and Life are respected innovators in American yoga. It draws a lot on Hindu spiritual practices to expand yoga beyond being just physical exercise.
The class was fast-paced and I sweated up a storm, in part due to the fact that the class was packed. Jill kept things interesting and challenging. Aside from more chanting and pranayama than in most classes, I was not able to put my finger on what makes the Jivamukti style so distinctive. Of course, one class just gives you a short taste of the approach so I should probably hold off on any judgments.