David Life
United States

David is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga method, together with Sharon Gannon, and through the blessings of his teachers, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Shri Swami Nirmalananda, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, and Shyamdas. His expertise in yoga is supported by his artistic, literary, and metaphysical studies. He imbues his teaching with metaphor, musicality, and spirituality, spiced with humor, vigor, and spontaneity along with his deep knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics.

David Life was born in Michigan in 1950, the eldest of five siblings (two of his sisters are Jivamukti certified teachers). A natural leader, in high school he was a celebrated athlete, captain of the wrestling team and student council president, although his real interest from an early age was art and spirituality. He graduated from Michigan State University with a MA in Art. Afterwards he taught painting at a local community college before pursuing his own career as an artist. Although he was represented by galleries in San Francisco and New York he was becoming disenchanted with the business of art. In the early 1980s the Lower East Side of NYC was considered an artistic hot bed—it was there on East 10th Street and Avenue B that David opened the Life Café, a destination for artists, poets, and musicians. He met Sharon Gannon there and soon after left the art scene to immerse himself in the study, practice, and eventually the teaching of yoga.

He has received Kalachakra and Bodhisattva initiation from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He spent several years as a sannyasi (renunciate) initiated by Swami Nirmalananda. David is a certified Advanced practitioner of the Ashtanga Yoga method of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, which he began studying in Mysore, India.

For three decades, even with his disciplined daily asana and meditation practice and responsibilities as the co-director of the Jivamukti Yoga School in NYC, he traveled extensively throughout the world teaching yoga as well as finding time to co-author, together with Sharon Gannon, books as well as producing and appearing in many yoga-related videos.

David’s deep spirituality is revealed in his respect for the divine soul in all beings, naturally manifested as veganism and a fierce commitment to the protection of the natural world. He is a devoted herbalist, mycologist, wild forager, and gardener, who lives in a forest ashram in upstate, NY.