October 7, 2011
The Yoga of Yom Kippur
It has been amazing year. Thank you for allowing me to journey with you, and I bless you with an incredible year ahead.
The summer has been busy with the world yoga conference in Portugal, the launch of the Jewish Yoga Network in the USA (we had a great first seminar in LA), I’ve completed a new yoga teaching certificate from the College of Purna Yoga (alignment-based, Iyengar-style) and recently a filmed a new video (opposite. The beard has since gone…).
Now, the first sutra in a few weeks…
Earlier this week the world lost a great artistic visionary. Most of our lives were somehow touched by his creations. In a time of great recession and job losses, he continued to create endless new jobs. His impact on business and technology is substantial. The ancient questions are more relevant than ever: What is your ideal legacy to the world? How would you like to be remembered? If today was your last day on earth, how would you live?
Many of us would love the opportunity to start again. To press the ‘reset’ buttons on our lives. To erase the hard disk of all of the things we’ve done that we’re embarrassed about, to think through those things that we wish hadn’t said and make them go away. In a nutshell, that’s Yom Kippur.
The yoga practice for Yom Kippur is a soul-focused deep meditation. We refrain from food, drink, physical relations and wearing leather skins that a creature had to die for (Mishna, Yoma, 8:1). We realign with who we are, and who we can be. What the yogis called ‘the continuous struggle to become firmly established in the stable state of the True Self’ (Yoga Sutras 1:13).
Yom Kippur. A day of atonement. Or, a Day of At-ONE-ment. Becoming one with our potential. Becoming one with who we really want to be. The Sanskrit word for retuning, reconnecting, becoming one with our ultimate self? ‘Yoga’. The Hebrew word? ‘Echad’. Hear, O Yogis, All is One.
The Rabbis taught: “All my life I have been raised among the sages and I have found nothing better for the body than silence” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:17). Nothing better for the body than silence. I could add more, to explain this, but that would break the silence. The words speak for themselves. Enough talking, already.
I have found nothing better for the body than silence.
Over the next 36 hours, try a little silence. I won’t prescribe any yoga poses this weekend because your body already knows what to do, if you listen to it.
Wishing you a peaceful and blessed new year. May you be sealed in the Book of Life.
Marcus J Freed is the creator of Bibliyoga, president of the Jewish Yoga Network and artist-in-residence for Jewlicious.
LOS ANGELES: 16th October - hosting/MC on stage at the Jewish County Fair, Malibu. Register at http://bigjewishtent.com.
INDIANAPOLIS: November, TBA.
PALM SPRINGS: 2nd-3rd January 2012, Pacific American Rabbis conference Bibliyoga workshops.
PALM SPRINGS: 3rd January 2012, Pacific American Rabbis conference - performance of ‘Solomon’.
LONG BEACH: February 2012 Jewlicious 8.0.
LOS ANGELES: February 2012, LimmudLA.
NEVADA: Performances & workshops in Henderson, NV.