The difference between a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training and a Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training

by Gianni Sarracino |

In the vast realm of my journey as a yoga teacher – started many years ago – I have joined a wide range of teacher training from various styles, exploring the multifaceted landscape of yoga’s wisdom. Among these paths, the distinctions between a Vinyasa teacher training and the transformative journey of Jivamukti Yoga have left an indelible impression upon my self-practice and teaching style.

Vinyasa yoga, with its flowing sequences and dynamic movements, holds an undeniable allure. It beckons practitioners to surrender to the rhythmic dance of their breath, to lose themselves in the symphony of motion. However, within the realm of Vinyasa, there exists a scattered interpretation of the practice. Each teacher and studio crafts their own version, making it challenging for instructors to discern a clear direction for their teachings and personal practice. It becomes a labyrinth, leaving many adrift without a defined path. I’ve seen Vinyasa yoga being base on Iyengar; other times, Vinyasa was an Ashtanga-led style of practice. Other times, I’ve seen Vinyasa being shared as a blend of Hatha and Ashtanga. Rarely I have witnessed meditation or pranayama being offered in studio classes advertised as ‘vinyasa’.

Yet, the Jivamukti Teacher Training offers a resplendent sanctuary, where students are welcomed into a community of like-minded beings. Here, teachers and students are united by a shared foundation of study and practice. It is a place where connections are forged effortlessly, even when meeting someone for the first time. I have traversed the globe, and everywhere I have been, the practice of Jivamukti Yoga has woven a tapestry of connections. It is a rarity that I had not experienced in my 600+ hours of Vinyasa and Hatha trainings. In those realms, each school boasts its own method, value system, and teaching approach, making it difficult to form lasting bonds beyond the surface level. Moreover, it’s hard to go deep on a path to self-study and advancement in the personal sadhana or teaching skills.

What I’ve seen setting Jivamukti apart is the recognition of the interconnectedness of all beings, extending beyond the confines of the mat. It is a community that embraces compassion and veganism as essential aspects of the practice, alongside the physical asanas. Within the Jivamukti community, I have found a profound sense of connection, where the values of kindness and empathy are held in equal regard as chaturangas and downward-facing dogs. It is a real satsang where the heart and the practice align, where the threads (Sutras) of yoga’s ancient wisdom are interwoven with a contemporary spirit.

The journey of the 300-Hour Jivamukti Teacher Training is an invitation to immerse oneself in the transformative power of yoga. Rooted in the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, it delves deep into the philosophies, anatomy, sequencing, and spirituality of this sacred practice. It equips aspiring teachers with the tools and knowledge to guide their students with skill and confidence, embracing the art of hands-on assists and adjustments. Sequencing becomes a profound exploration, as classes are crafted to be transformative journeys of the soul, rather than mere physical workouts.

What is more important, is that anyone that takes the training is receiving the same level of attention, insights, skills and methodology as anyone that took the training before them.

Furthermore, the Jivamukti Teacher Training places great emphasis on self-care, recognizing the importance of nurturing one’s own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This cultivation of personal wholeness allows teachers to show up as grounded and authentic guides for their students. It is a comprehensive and holistic approach that extends beyond the classroom, empowering teachers to embody the teachings in their everyday lives.

As I reflect upon my own journey, gratitude washes over me for the path that has led me to the embrace of Jivamukti Yoga. I was teaching yoga before becoming a Jivamukti Yoga teacher. But my self practice as well as my teaching practice were scattered and – perhaps – unbalanced. With the method of Jivamukti Yoga, I find myself studying Shastra every day, aiming to learn more and more for my own path and for my students’.

Joining the Jivamukti community not only has deepened my personal practice but also illuminated the transformative potential that resides within each and every one of us. The sacred community of Jivamukti offers a safe space, where teachers and students alike gather under the same banner of study and practice. It is a testament to the power of connection, where the threads of compassion and veganism intertwine with the profound teachings of yoga. Here, I have found a home, a place where my heart and my practice can soar together.

I am proud to share with others what my Jivamukti teachers shared with me. I see this as a beautiful cycle where we give double of what we have received; together, on a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings.

Gianni Sarracino