web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Kosher Yoga

Lewis-083013-Bent

* * * * *

Kosher Yoga

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning to yoke or unite. This implies uniting all aspects of a person (body, mind and soul) to achieve a happy, balanced life. There are several paths of yoga. These paths led to the development of eleven different schools of yoga. One of the most recently developed schools is Iyengar yoga, developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. This type of yoga emphasizes the structural alignment of the physical body through postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayamas). There are over 200 postures and 14 different types of breathing exercises ranging from the basic to advanced. By practicing the exercises, the body, mind and spirit are united and this relieves the stresses of modern-day life.Lewis-083013-Man

While meditation certainly has its place in Jewish life (See Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide), the meditation practiced in yoga is often regarded as problematic. Popular yoga meditation classes teach a person how to settle into a mental state of relaxation, go into trance, and visualize something. B.K.S. Iyengar feels that this is not true meditation. According to his view, a true meditative state involves no mental activity. Since this is simply beyond the reach of the average person, meditation is not taught in Iyengar yoga. Instead, this yoga teaches a person how to cultivate a relaxed and tranquil state of mind through performing the postures and breathing exercises. Consequently, when the Kolbergs crafted a kosher version of yoga, they didn’t have to worry about cutting out meditation exercises. In order to make Iyengar yoga kosher, the Kolbergs took out the prayers that many yoga routines begin with; made sure not to refer to postures by their traditional names since many of these names are related to idols; and removed every other grey area that could be questionable. “But you’ll still hear Sanskrit in our classes,” says Rachel. “Since our students are Israeli, American, and French, instructions like ‘Hands up’ are given in Sanskrit to save us calling out in three different languages!”

* * * * *

The Advantages of Yoga

Like all exercise, yoga improves your strength, flexibility, stamina and balance. However, yoga doesn’t simply promote fitness. Yoga exercises involve the physical body, the breath, the mind and the intelligence, thus affecting the mind, emotions and intellect. For example, before a public speech, a person feels nervous. His shoulders tense and his breathing quickens. His mental state is, in fact, subconsciously reflected in his body and breath. Yoga postures and breathing exercises reflect the same principle. The physical body and the breath are consciously altered to subconsciously regulate the emotions and the mind. Certain postures performed in a specific manner bring about mental relaxation, quietness and serenity. Going back to our man with stage fright, by carrying out some yoga exercises, he will be able to relax his muscles, his breathing and consequently, his state of mind. Yoga also improves general health because it works on the inner organs, circulation and joint action to improve their function. In addition, by encouraging an awareness of the physical body, the mind is sharpened and concentration is improved. One of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, Yehudi Menuhin, acknowledged B.K.S Iyengar not only as his best yoga teacher, but also his best violin teacher. With yoga, you can say goodbye to the imbalances wrought by modern life: headaches, stiff necks, lower backache, insomnia and digestive disorders.

* * * * *

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar differs from the other styles of yoga in three ways: technique, sequence and timing. Technique refers to the precision of the body alignment and the performance of pranayama. Sequence means postures and breathing exercises are practiced in specific sequence. Timing defines the time spent in each exercise.

Iyengar yoga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas. The props help students to perform the asanas correctly and minimize the risk of injury or strain. Since the props also offer support, elderly, injured, or ill students who cannot put in the full muscular effort required, can reap the benefits of many asanas. Standing poses are emphasized in Iyengar yoga because these build strong legs, improve circulation, coordination and balance and increase vitality in general.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Kosher Yoga”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Rhona Lewis
Lewis-101014-East-Gate

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

Lewis-092614

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

The traditional services that take place here transport visitors back in time, enabling them to smell and feel the authentic historical experience.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: