I was entirely satisfied and fulfilled with my Kundalini practice in Barcelona up until this week when I got introduced to Jivamukti with Olga Oskorbina. On Tuesday evening, I met one of my friends who now lives in Prague, but comes to the city often. She said that every time she comes to Barcelona to visit, she treats it as a retreat and goes to class almost daily. She recommended her teacher Olga, who was described as “really careful with adjustments, modifications and alignment cues.” Any time I hear that a yoga teacher give importance to these three qualities, I of course put full trust in that recommendation. I decided to take a quick break from my Kundalini practice and go to Olga’s studio in the city center of Barcelona.
Moreover, I was told that she opens class with the harmonium. I have been completely spoiled with the harmonium in all the classes I’ve taken in Barcelona so far and I love it.
I, of course, didn’t really look at the class description and just showed up to what is called an “Open Class” which lasts about 90 minutes. As described on the website:
You work at your own pace, following the teacher’s verbal as well as hands-on guidance. Asana options will be provided for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. An Open class presents classical yoga teachings as relevant to one’s life on and off the mat, drawn from the Focus of the Month essay, supported by chanting, breath awareness, flowing vinyasa sequences, alignment exploration, hands-on assistance, relaxation and meditation. The class is called “Open” because it is open and suitable to all levels of practitioner. Even so, beginning level students should know that there will not be much detailed “how to do” descriptions; for that a student is advised to attend a Basic or Beginner Vinyasa Class.
Jivamukti is a method created in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life. This style of Yoga reintegrates physical and intellectual aspects of yoga leading to spiritual awareness. The name Jivamukti is taken from the Sanskrit term” jivan” (individual soul) and “mukti” (liberation) and means Liberation while living, which is the ultimate aim of the practice.
Jivamukti is a form of Hatha Yoga taught in a vinyasa style where each movement is linked to the breath. Each Open class focuses on a theme drawn from the Focus of the Month, written by Jivamukti Yoga founders.
What I found most pleasing in this practice was the combination of meditation, chanting, but more so the careful and meticulous adjustments done directly on me, by Olga and on the second day of practice, by her spouse who was helping her as they were both going around making sure they reached every single student. The pre practice massage with Tiger Balm ointment and the post practice oil rub in Savasana was my all time favorite. I did ask my friend if this is done every time and she assured me that every time she has gone, yes.
The focus on individual attention, the beautiful soundtrack and the window overlooking a lush green tree are all fantastic reasons to give Jivamukti a chance. If you like a little Ashtanga type practice, combined with the gentle love of more meditative practices, this practice might be for you. I’m so happy I got introduced to this wonderful couple and studio, even if it was during my last week here.
If you’d like more information about the practice, the studio or the trial offer for new students, click on the website link below: