Jewish Journal


November 3, 2011

Occupy Yoga, Occupy Your Life



This was my least favorite sign at Occupy LA...

We are living in times of economic frustration with ‘Occupy’ protests in over 100 cities across the world. These tented cities have captured the imagination of people wanting a redistribution of wealth, but whether they will achieve their aims is yet to be seen. On walking through the City Hall protest at OccupyLA, one thing was clear to me; there was a lack of clarity. At least 20 different causes were being supported, from the more obvious ‘cut the bankers’ massive bonuses’ to the more liberal ‘free love’ to the more controversial (see attached picture; the less said the better).

There are two things that the entire Occupy movement is united on. The first is that they want change.  The second is that they want other people to change.

Abraham’s journey is one of extreme change. He was told to leave his country, his birthplace and his family. It is no coincidence that the instructions came in that particular order. We can leave our country by getting on an aeroplane. We can get away from our birthplace by learning different languages and customs, which is somewhat harder. If we are incredibly strong then we can also free ourselves from the thought-patterns and negative behaviours that we have inherited from our upbringing. Even if we have the most wonderful and loving parents in the world, everyone says ‘I’ll do some things differently from my parents’, but how many of us really manage it?

Abraham is told ‘lech-lecha’ which translates as ‘go for yourself’ or the more meditative ‘go to yourself’ (Genesis 12:1). Reach deep inside. Do the work that is needed to change.

The yoga mat and the meditation cushion are places from which we journey towards change. Don’t be fooled into thinking that transformation is accomplished by sticking your arms and legs into funny positions or just sitting still for a few minutes. This isn’t yoga or meditation. Change happens with time, methodological application and effort. It takes a lot of effort to make things look truly effortless.

Where would you like to see a revolution in your life? How would you like to see the world change? Become that change. Don’t dream it: be it. Occupy your mind, occupy your body, occupy your future and occupy your yoga mat.

Good luck. 

    Sign up for your weekly Kosher Sutra at www.bibliyoga.com Marcus J Freed is the creator of Bibliyoga, President of the Jewish Yoga Network, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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