Quantcast

Jewish Journal

Kosher Sutra: Safe Arrivals (Vayishlach)

by Marcus J Freed

November 23, 2010 | 12:59 pm

Kosher Sutra: ‘And Yacov arrived safely’ (Gen 33:18)

Soul Solution: Total healing, body and soul

Posture: Bound-angle pose

Body Benefit: Strengthen hips & preparation for childbirth

We’ve all heard that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but it’s not usually much fun to hear that when you’re writhing with pain. There is certainly some truth in the phrase because we can all get stronger when we recover from injuries, but that doesn’t mean that old war wounds don’t still ache from time to time.

There is a beautiful image, or so I thought, of Jacob who walks away after he’s spent the night wrestling with an angel. He’s uplifted, inspired, had his name upgraded to Israel – ‘the one who struggles with God and man and overcomes’, but despite his spiritual enlightenment, he still carries a bit of pain and walks with a limp.

Yoga can be transformational although the physical-spiritual encounter that takes place on a yoga mat can cause injuries for many people. At some point or another plenty of serious yogis will push themselves too far, allowing their ego to overcome their breathing and causing themselves an injury. The bad news is that this hurts at the time but the good news is that a good practice and a great teacher can help you heal from many physical pains so that you become stronger than ever.

Jacob walking with a limp is poetic but it isn’t pretty, and there’s nothing beautiful about an exquisite, spiritually-induced pain. If we read a little further we see that his true graduation to become the man called Israel, a Luke-Skywalker-becomes-Jedi-sort-of-moment, only happens when he has healed various relationships. Things improve with his father-in-law and his estranged brother, and when he meets his sibling Esau, he ‘arrived safely’. The Hebrew word is ‘Shalem’, meaning complete or whole, and Rashi explains that Jacob/Israel was completely healed with regards to his body, his emotional pains, his financial difficulties.

Be strong, be healed, be happy.

In Peace, Shabbat Shalom,

Marcus

HOW TO DO BOUND ANGLE/COBBLER POSTURE (BADDHAKONASANA)
i. Sit comfortably on the floor and bring your feet together so that the soles of your feet are touching one another.
ii. Take hold of either sides of your feet and draw your heels towards your groin.
iii. Open your feet to either side so that just the outside edges of your feet (i.e. on the floor) are touching.
iv. Lift your sternum upwards so that your chest is open and look directly ahead of you.

Marcus is the creator of Bibliyoga, the yogi-in-residence for Jewlicious Festivals & JConnectLA. He’s the US Director of Yoga Mosaic, the association for Jewish Yoga teachers and practitioners, and lives in Los Angeles. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to receive your weekly Kosher Sutra direct to your inbox.

Tracker Pixel for Entry

COMMENTS

We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

Publication
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.

ADVERTISEMENT
PUT YOUR AD HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

{blog_image:alt}

Marcus J Freed is a studio-trained yogi, yeshiva-trained educator, published author, BBC broadcaster and classically-trained actor.  Marcus has developed a quartet of powerful...

Read more