web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Kosher Yoga

Lewis-083013-Bent

Share Button

In a pinewood paneled roof studio in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, Avraham and Rachel Kolberg, Breslover chassidim, teach yoga classes to groups of men and women. Purple and blue exercise mats are neatly folded on wooden shelves. Purple foam blocks, weights of up to twenty kilos and ropes as thick as a man’s wrist are all stacked neatly along the sides of the studio. Plenty of light floods the room from large windows that face the Judean Hills. The sense of peace in this studio comes from more than just the pleasant surroundings.

Lewis-083013-FamilyBorn into the affluence of Ramat Hasharon in central Israel, Avraham Kolberg followed the well-trodden path of many Israelis. After completing his army service as an officer in Intelligence, he went on to study photography and then art in Beit Berel, the largest academic college in Israel. In 1998, he married Rachel. Originally from Moscow, Rachel had spent five years as a child in Cuba, where her father had worked as a Russian-Spanish translator, before the family made aliyah to Israel when Rachel was sixteen.

“When I was still in the army, a friend suggested that I try out a course in meditation,” says Avraham, tracing back to the roots of his fascination with Eastern philosophy. “I found out that meditation was very powerful. Every meditation session left me feeling that I had touched something transcendental. But, whereas others felt relaxed after meditating, I felt confused and unsettled,” he says. This interest in anything Eastern was reawakened when the Rachel began attending a yoga class for expectant mothers. The Kolbergs continued attending intensive yoga classes in Tel Aviv over the next three years, joining many workshops given by visiting foreign teachers. At one of these workshops, they met a couple who was to influence their lives in a way they had not imagined. Rajiv and Swati Chanchani, students of B.K.S. Iyengar, opened up a fascinating world to the Kolbergs. After corresponding with them for a short while, they decided to take up the Chanchanis’ offer to teach them and booked three tickets to India—their two-and-a-half year old son would be coming with them. This personalized tutoring program was a lucky break for the Kolbergs because a few years later, the Chanchanis opened the Yog-Ganga Center for Yoga Studies.

 

Yoga in Dehradun

The Kolbergs destination was Dehradun, the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Dehradun, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and a pleasant climate, is located in the Doon Valley at the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India’s mightiest rivers—the Ganges to the east and the Yamuna to the west. Being close to the Hindu holy cities Haridwar and Rishikesh and other popular Himalayan tourist destinations, Dehradun attracts both local and foreign visitors. But the Kolbergs were not on a tourist trip; their journey was dedicated to studying Iyengar yoga. Dehradun is renowned as home to the Indian Military Academy, research institutions, electronics factories and prestigious educational institutions. Two of these schools, the Doon School for boys and Welhem Girls High School, became home for the Kolbergs for the next six months. The Doon School, whose best known alumnus is former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is an exclusive boarding school modeled on the British public school system and set in fifteen acres of endless lawns. The Chanchanis were working with the government to introduce yoga into the school curriculum. The Kolbergs worked as assistants in the classes and attended both private lessons and courses given by the Chanshanis. Despite their intensive schedules, throughout their stay in Dehradun, the Kolberg’s son was under parental supervision. “Once we left him with a caretaker and he was bitten by a dog. After that, he never left our side,” says Rachel.Lewis-083013-Woman

“I loved learning about yoga,” she recalls. “The typical day was very structured and disciplined. It meant rising early, learning theory and plenty of exercise. I wanted more and more. I especially enjoyed the challenge of teaching children. You can give children more complicated exercises to perform and the pace is fast to keep them involved.”

Although Rachel had warm memories of Jewish tradition, Jewish values played an insignificant part in her life at this point. “Swati was the first person to teach me about tznius,” she says. “When we went to teach in the Doon School, she expected me to wear a full length skirt and not to talk to the boys unnecessarily.” This refinement became so much a part of Rachel’s psyche that when she returned to Tel Aviv and met a close friend on a hot summer’s day, her instinctive reaction to her friend’s tank top was, “Why?”

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Kosher Yoga”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Rhona Lewis
Lewis-032814-Linoy

OneFamily’s support naturally extends to the families of terror victims.

Lewis-021414-Bus

Who are the heroes who rush into a hell like this and pull out the wounded and the dead?

Like mushrooms, shuls of all shapes and sizes are popping up throughout Israel in places where the residents vowed no sign of traditional Judaism would ever find a place. However, unlike mushrooms, which appear overnight with little effort, these shuls are being built only after incredible input by a special organization and inspired individuals.

In 1989, when Ethiopia and Israel agreed to restore the diplomatic relations that had been broken off by Ethiopia in 1973, thousands of Ethiopian Jews (aka Beta Israel) flooded to Addis Ababa. A year later, Dr. Hodes, an observant Jew from Long Island, N.Y., was hired by the JDC to be the medical director in Ethiopia and oversee their care. The original six-week contract was to morph into nearly twenty-three years…and Hodes is still counting.

In a pinewood paneled roof studio in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, Avraham and Rachel Kolberg, Breslover chassidim, teach yoga classes to groups of men and women. Purple and blue exercise mats are neatly folded on wooden shelves. Purple foam blocks, weights of up to twenty kilos and ropes as thick as a man’s wrist are all stacked neatly along the sides of the studio. Plenty of light floods the room from large windows that face the Judean Hills. The sense of peace in this studio comes from more than just the pleasant surroundings.

Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, who passed away on 28 Tammuz, (July18) this year at age 102, spent all of his days and most of his nights learning Torah. He was the paramount leader of our generation, and inspired tremendous awe and reverence in everyone who knew him. Now, every woman has the stunning opportunity to do something in his memory. A Sefer Torah is being written in his memory and women around the world have the chance to dedicate a letter.

The day after graduating Brandeis University, Sara Yocheved Rigler joined a Vedanta ashram in the woods of eastern Massachusetts. She would never have guessed that the fifteen years she spent there were going to be stepping stones on her path to becoming a world-renowned writer and lecturer on Jewish topics and the initiator behind three programs designed to impact the lives of Jewish women all over the world.

Children should be seen and not heard. It was a maxim that I heard many times throughout my childhood and which caused me a fair amount of frustration. When, I often wondered, would I cross that invisible line and move out of the periphery to which I was assigned, into the arena of adulthood and be given the chance to express an opinion that people would listen to?

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/kosher-yoga/2013/08/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: