Namaste Your Way Into 2018

End 2017 on a spiritual note with a New Year’s Eve yoga master class with the first couple of yoga.

David Life teaches a yoga class at Jivamukti Yoga Center. / Photo by Derek Pashupa Goodwin

Jivamukti is a strenuous, spiritual style of yoga developed in New York in the early 1980s by David Life and Sharon Gannon, two former East Village hipsters who rose to become the first couple of yoga. Though the two have stepped back from regular teaching to tend to their many pursuits, including activism and writing books, they’re returning to their Union Square studio to instruct regulars and anyone else who wants to show up on New Years Eve. 

Gannon and Life are rock stars of the yoga world, so this event tends to be packed mat-to-mat, which, rather than being annoying, adds to the celebratory vibe. The master class attracts regulars from the local yoga scene, even those who usually practice at other studios. (Though the session may include some advanced poses, you need not do them. For this one, though, it’s probably best if you’re not a complete yoga newbie.) Their long, energetic class also includes harmonium music, singing, chanting, and a sweaty asana practice.

new years eve yoga
David Life and Sharon Gannon meditate during mauna (silent contemplation) at Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York City. / Photo by Derek Pashupa Goodwin

While you’re basking in the groovy glow of it all, you’ll soak in words of wisdom from Life and Gannon—which, depending on your tolerance for guru worship, you’ll find either inspiring or over the top. If you’re truly not a “guru person,” you can skip the spiritual talk after class and head home.

If you are into it, the evening also includes two other optional events: A vegan dinner at the studio’s on-site café and then a silent meditation and chanting session. No matter how long you stay or how heavily you buy into the Jivamukti philosophy, this celebration sets a positive, healthy tone for the year to come.   

Why You Should Go: You’ll find camaraderie and affection among this happy, bendy group, and you may leave having met new friends.

New Years Eve Talk and Master Class at Jivamukti Yoga
841 Broadway (between East 13th and 14th Streets), 2nd Floor, Union Square
New Year’s Eve master class: 4:30–7 p.m.
New Year’s Eve vegan dinner: 7–9 p.m.
Silent meditation and chanting: 9 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
$50; $40 for dinner; meditation and chanting is free

If one of your 2018 resolutions involves finding your zen, we can recommend a few places to get you started.