by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Oy dear friends, sometimes the battle seems endless. Yet, we do what we can and trust Hashem to help...
A Noachide reader, who is Indian in Asia wrote (edited)...
I wrote to Chabad.org regarding their current article (saying Yoga is ok), questioning from my background how they could say this. "Please tell me if yoga is kosher and whether the Rebbe
supported it. As an Indian I know it is based on Hindu deities.
I received this reply...
"I see no reason not to use yoga techniques for relaxation and health. When it becomes a spiritual path for Jew, then something is very wrong. --Rabbi Tzvi Freeman"
Rabbi Freeman may see no reason, but we do. Later this week (or next), we will present multiple statements from the Rebbe that it is prohibited. FURTHER, EVERY yoga system (including the supposed kosher models) discusses "energy", "focus", and "meditation". They are NEVER just about stretch and posture.
Let's speak of posture for the moment. In our last article we presented a picture of Mr. Audi Gozlan from Kabbalah Yoga, sitting in Chabad clothes in the classic yoga sitting position, with arms outstretch, hands curled and thumb and forefinger in a circle.
Reb Gutman will be presenting a detailed article on this specific point later this week (G-d willing). But let me state it in brief... Reb Gutman heard _direct_ from a senior Hindu guru (a supposed reincarnation of a Hindu deity!) that there is a specific Hindu religious reason for holding one's hands in that thumb-to-forefinger(s) circular position.
Any time you see ANYONE in a seated yoga posture with their hands in that position, they are practicing a Hindu spiritual energy direction technique. Straight clear direct AVODA ZARAH.
Moments before I wrote those, a commentor "Chassidic Yogi" (kind of like oilwater) wrote, "Shemor Nafshecha (safeguard your physical health) (Torah) ...WHEN THE MIND BECOMES...IT WILL ...GO BEYOND THE NORMAL MUNDANE AWARENESS INTO THE STATE REFERRED TO AS MEDITATION...When you meditate, it is best to be facing ... take advantage of the magnetic currents of the earth...STRAIGHT...ALLOWS THE ENERGY TO MOVE UP THE...TRIANGULAR...HELP TO CONTAIN THE ENERGY."
NOT JUDAISM. NOT TORAH. NOT KOSHER No question. Yes, there is wisdom in the East - but it's NOT our path. Just to be clear, this commentor was describing HOW different Yoga positions should be used to manipulate spiritual mind-body energy.
Anyone think pulling energy out of the earth and/or manipulating it through the body, and using it to push the mind into different consciousnesses is Jewish or kosher? Or pushing and manipulating bodily spiritual energy around the body and consciousness is Jewish or kosher?
[Yes, there are such things in Kabbalah. The key differences are the sources of the energy, NOT the blood/body/physical world but kedusha, holiness, mitzvot that draw and connect to G-dly energy, and the push/connection to strive to reach out the levels of G-dly consciousness and literally connect on higher levels to G-d, not to stretch human consciousness out to nothingness. For more information, consult your local mekubal. Not for the uninitiated, because the improper manipulation of energy, and the manipulation of the wrong energies is ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED and spiritually dangerous too boot!]
For more information, turns out we've practically written a small book on Yoga problems in the Jewish community. Here's our historical posts on the matter...
Makes Me Ill
Yoga is NOT KOSHER
It's YogaDance at Chabad
More Questions on Yoga
I Don't Feel Spiritual (Yoga)
What's Wrong with Yoga
The Rebbe on Meditation and Yoga
Yoga for Good, Don't Believe It!
It Simply Isn't Kosher
Eastern Infiltration Part 1
...Jews don't let Jews do yoga.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא