Yoga is the realization, truly a remembering in revelation, of the eternal Self and the unbroken connection to the Beloved. The asanas, or posture practice, may have a part in this project, but in the end, compassion for all beings as expressed in a lifestyle firmly grounded in ahimsa (non-harming), humility, sincerity and surrender in devotion are our greatest assets, along with association with elevated souls, to experience the glorious spiritual reality that lies just beyond our attachment to the body, mind and ego. Everything we have ever sought, and revelation beyond our wildest dreams, lies in the meditative silence and stillness of our own Sacred Heart. Love is the only entrance key. Our greatest gift to the entirety of creation is our own Self-realization and is actually what it will take to birth a glorious, new day here on great Mother Earth. The time is so ripe, and as it turns out, we are the ones we've been waiting for.
Rise in Love. Together We Rise.
One Love, John
For deep, honest looks into John's journey, experience, practice, teachers
and his understanding of life, yoga, devotion and teaching,
check out these interviews below:
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And so it was for Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher, John Smrtic. John cosmically stumbled upon Jivamukti Yoga creators, Sharon Gannon and David Life, through the music of Michael Franti. The love affair with the Jivamukti method began in 2006 at Power to the Peaceful, a music, yoga and spiritual activism retreat led by Sharon, David and Michael at the Omega Institute.
John returned to Omega less than one year later to complete the 300 hour Jivamukti Yoga teacher training and began teaching in Albany, NY, in spring 2007. Since meeting the Jivamukti founders, John has spent an extremely rare 1,000+ hours studying directly with Sharon and David. He received his Jivamukti Yoga Advanced Certification by passing the board exam in January 2014. He continues to study with his teachers at every possible opportunity. Soaked in this direct transmission, John is passionate to convey their teachings and method as purely as possible. Additionally, John studies bhakti (devotional) yoga with two living masters: His Holiness Sripad Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Maharaja (Vrindavan) and His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj (Mumbai/US). Utilizing these teachings and traditional yogic scripture as a foundation, John blends wit, music and challenging, intelligently sequenced asana from a vinyasa format to make each class a unique experience.
John has regularly taught Jivamukti Yoga workshops, special events and seasonal series at the Woodstock Forest Sanctuary home of Sharon and David since 2010. He is honored to be serving as a Mentor at the Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training program at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, Blue Spirit in Nosara, Costa Rica and Chiemsee, Germany. John is a staple on the national festival circuit, most recently facilitating sold out workshops at the premiere high-vibe gathering, Bhakti Fest, in Joshua Tree, CA. He was also the Assistant and then the Assistant Director for the Yoga Teacher Empowerment Training in Albany, NY, from 2007 to 2009, in addition to running a yoga program for at-risk, homeless youths through Safe House in Schenectady, NY. John leads an annual pilgrimage to India to dive deep into the living pulse of devotional yoga and also hosts an annual international yoga retreat, a tradition that started in 2011, partnering with some of the biggest names in the international yoga community such as DJ Drez, Marti Nikko and Alanna Kaivalya. He has crafted a unique series of Jivamukti-based extended format classes and workshops which are road tested and in demand.
John has gained acclaim for his music sensibilities and seamless integration of sacred sound into inspiring, thematic classes. In particular, he is at the cutting edge of incorporating live music into ecstatic class experiences, working intimately with some of his favorite artists, who are also some of the best musicians, kirtan wallahs and beat makers in the world: DJ Drez, SriKala, Gaura Vani, Visvambhar Sheth, The Garcia Project, Ryan Montbleau, Prema Hara, Tomek Regulski and Chuck Wood to name a few.
John believes in the possibility that a single yoga class has the power to transform one's mind and heart, and prepares each class as more than just a well-balanced, intelligently sequenced asana practice, but as an experience. He crafts each Bhakti Groove music mix like a DJ, carefully selecting the soundtrack in keeping with the theme and bhava (divine mood) of each class. The title Bhakti Groove refers to Johns belief that there is no yoga without devotion, and that groove, the timeless state where nothing is missing, can be experienced through yoga asana with lively music and elevated intention. While the playlists have become reggae and Krishna heavy over the years, you may hear the Grateful Dead, hip hop, electronic, dub, bluegrass and particularly bhajan. All of these elements creatively commingle, facilitating a global vibratory shift toward love, unity, devotion and groove. The renowned website Yoganonymous frequently features John's Bhakti Groove class playlists as well as his writings and essays.
Since stepping through a divine window on 11/11 a few years back, John's life and teaching have turned into an unabashed living testament of the power of divine love to transform individual and collective consciousness and he passionately shares yoga asana, meditation and devotion as the technology to spark this soul re-membering, Self-revelation. Along with the rising collective, John is humbled to be a New Earth Wayshower and is joyfully assisting in writing mythology of New Earth - an embodied spiritual paradise where "I AM" sovereignty is the rule and peace, harmony, unity, and divine love are the prevailing and sustained realities of the planetary dimensional experience for all of life.
John graduated magna cum laude from the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University with a dual BA in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 2004. He teaches internationally, by example, how love and compassion, in a free will choice to choose otherwise, are the essential factors to evolve our consciousness and to actually trigger the dormant aspects of our Christed DNA, giving birth to the evolutionary process of enlightenment for the human on Gaia. We are eternally that "I AM THAT I AM" soul being, qualitatively one with and in unbroken connection to the Beloved, and so we are dancing this great RE-MEMBERING.
Rise in Love. Together we Rise.