Sharon Gannon (born July 4, 1951 in Washington, D.C.) is a yoga teacher, animal rights advocate, musician, author, dancer/choreographer and painter. Along with David Life, she is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga Method which contributed to the exponential rise in popularity of yoga in the west during the late 20th century. The Jivamukti Yoga Method distinguishes itself as a path to enlightenment by promoting compassion for all beings, challenging the modern belief that enslaving and exploiting animals and the natural world is our right as the dominant species. The Jivamukti Yoga Method teaches its students that they must be willing to promote the happiness of all beings without exception if they wish to realize their fullest capacity for joy. Jivamukti students are encouraged to adopt a diet that eliminates all animal products (vegan) as this is the diet that causes the least amount of harm to the earth and other beings, humans included. Core to the teachings of Jivamukti Yoga is the concept of shunyata or (emptiness) which is found in the ancient yogic scriptures. This idea can be simply stated as: everything you see and experience in the world comes from your perception of it. If you want to change someone or to change the world, you start by changing yourself by changing your views. When you begin to embrace this concept and put it into practice then you cannot find solace in complaining or blaming others. You are freed from seeing yourself as a victim of others or of circumstances. According to Gannon: "How you treat others will determine how others treat you. How others treat you will determine how you see yourself. How you see yourself will determine who you are."
Jivamukti Yoga is taught worldwide at Jivamukti Yoga Schools, and affiliated centers, which are in NYC, Charleston, Washington, DC, Toronto, London, Moscow, Stavanger, Munich, Berlin, Bern and Sydney. She has taught many high profile yogis and yoginis, notably Sting, Russell Simmons, Donna Karan, Madonna and Christy Turlington. As musician she has collaborated with such luminaries as Run DMC's Reverend Run, the Beastie Boys' Mike D, Bill Laswell and Don Cherry. She has written and appeared in many books, most notably the international bestseller Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul which she co-authored with David Life, and the ground-breaking Yoga and Vegetarianism the seminal work which investigates the link between extending kindness to animals and our own material happiness and spiritual liberation. A lifelong advocate for the rights of animals, she is an outspoken advocate of ethical vegetarianism (veganism). She was nominated for the "Gutsiest Woman of the Year 1999" by Jane Magazine and awarded the Compassionate Living Award by Farm Sanctuary in 2008.