“What is Real?” premiered Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the New York Institute of
Technology Auditorium at 1871 Broadway in Manhattan. Jivamukti Yoga cofounders Sharon Gannon and David Life were on hand, along with the film’s director Jay Mac and an auditorium full of Jivamukti Yoga teachers and students.
Following the film a panel gathered on stage for a Q&A. Notable guests MC Yogi and Trudy Styler joined Sharon Gannon, David Life, Jay Mac and his wife Mischa McNamara, and Jivamukti Yoga teachers Rima Rani Rabbath, Julie Kirkpatrick, and Ruth Lauer-Manenti.
“What is Real?” tells the real-life story of two visionaries, Sharon Gannon and David
Life, who started teaching yoga in the Lower East Side in the mid-eighties. The yoga
method they developed, Jivamukti Yoga, became wildly popular amongst New Yorkers,
caught on with celebrities, and soon spread around the world.
The film is directed and narrated by South African native Jay Mac, and portrays the
extraordinary journey of his life surviving personal tragedies, working in the frantic
world of advertising, and how he was transformed by his journey to becoming a
Jivamukti Yoga teacher.
The documentary includes rare and unseen footage from the early days of Jivamukti
Yoga, with cameos by luminaries like Grammy-nominated musician Krishna Das, who
began his musical career playing at the yoga studio. Celebrity practitioners Michael Franti, Sting, Donna Karan and Russell Simmons also make appearances, along with a host of many lesser-known but equally interesting yogis and local personalities.
The images below were taken by Derek Pashupa Goodwin