my teachers: divine beings

David Life (Deva Das)

Bios are hard for me to digest. The idea that a picture could be painted of me with some little list of factoids is untenable. The only thing that gives me credibility as a yoga teacher is the graceful association with my teachers. Sometimes I like to read bios because it tells me things about a person that I didn't know and to that end, here is a list of all the significant jobs that have come my way over the past 60 years, in order: lawn mowing and snow shoveling, paper delivery, beer and wine store stock boy, forklift driver in corrugated box company, phone order taker, dishwasher, cafeteria manager, welder in steel mIll, apartment building super, silk screen production and designer, graphic designer, illustrator, artist, poet, Life Cafe owner, yoga teacher, bio writer!


Sharon Gannon is a 21st century Renaissance woman who excels in many spiritual, artistic, and social mediums. Sharon is best known for creating, along with David Life, the Jivamukti Yoga Method—a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings.

A student of Brahmananda Sarasvati, Swami Nirmalananda, and K. Pattabhi Jois, she is a pioneer in teaching yoga as spiritual activism and is credited for making yoga cool and hip—relating ancient teachings of yoga to the modern world. Sharon is a musician and is a featured vocalist on many CDs including Sharanam, which is her solo album. She has produced numerous yoga-related DVDs and is the author of several books, including Jivamukti Yoga, The Art of Yoga, Cats and Dogs are People Too!, and Yoga and Vegetarianism. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Toward 2012, Arcana V: Music, Magic and Mysticism, What comes after Money, Semiotexte, Yoga Journal and Origin. She writes a monthly essay called the Focus of the Month. She resides in a 125-acre wild forest sanctuary in upstate NY, USA



Manorama evokes healing through the universal arts of language and conscious living. “Happiness,” she often says, “is the free flow of energy, and communication is energy. When we use our voices authentically and confidently, we create harmony between ourselves and others.” A renowned, highly respected teacher, Manorama offers Sanskrit Studies Method programs for yoga teacher trainings, as well as Luminous Soul Method trainings and retreats. She tours the globe, training students in the Sanskrit Studies Method and the Luminous Soul Method.

Through the Sanskrit Studies Method Manorama offers a direct, easy and joyful approach to learning Sanskrit, encouraging her students to focus on core principles of learning, the dynamic sound qualities of the language and it’s philosophical beauty. Grammar becomes fun and playful.

Combining her earthly charm with a healthy dose of humor, Manorama guides students in bridging the ordinary with the spiritually sublime.

Manorama earned a B.A. in Film at Columbia University, where she also studied linguistics.

Jai Uttal

Jai Uttal is a Grammy nominated pioneer in the world music community. His eclectic east meets-west sound has put his music at the forefront of the world fusion movement. Jai Uttal’s musical roots embrace a rich variety of cultures and traditions that span the globe and the centuries. From the hillbilly music of the Appalachian Mountains to the passionate strains of Bengali street singers, from the haunting rhythms and melodies of ancient India to contemporary electric rock sounds, Jai’s music distills the essence of diverse musical forms.

Jai adds, “World music is music from everywhere. Music that creates bridges. Music that unites hearts and cultures. Music that brings peace.”

Sarah Powers

Sarah Powers began teaching in 1987. She interweaves the insights and practices of Yoga and Buddhism into an integral practice to enliven the body, heart and mind. Her yoga style blends both a Yin sequence of long held poses to enhance the meridian and organ systems, combined with a flow or Yang practice, influenced by Viniyoga, Ashtanga, and Iyengar teachings.

Sarah feels that enlivening the physical and pranic bodies, as well as learning to open to our emotional difficulties is paramount for preparing one to deepen and nourish insights into one’s essential nature–a natural state of awareness. She draws from her studies in Transpersonal Psychology, as well as her in-depth training in the Vipassana, Tantric and Dzogchen practices of Buddhism.

She is co-founder of Metta Journeys, a service oriented organization that offers yoga retreats internationally to help women and children in developing countries. She also teaches trainings and silent retreats with her husband Ty. They live with their teen-age daughter Imani-Jade in Marin, California. She is author of the upcoming book Insight Yoga: Integrating Yin/Yang Yoga and Buddhist Meditation.