by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
The following advertisement appeared in a local ad flyer in my orthodox Jewish neighborhood…
“Yoga is an exercise that works on creating a flowing and focused conscious.”
Exactly the point we’ve been making here for years. Do you want your consciousness focused and flowing in a Hindu religious style if you’re a Jew?
“Yoga is like a circle that begins with sitting quietly in concentration…”
Sitting quietly in concentration, meaning…meditation. Would you prefer to meditate in a Jewish way or in a Hindu way, if you’re a Jew?
“The exercise positions are based on the principles of inner consciousness…”
Got that?? The PHYSICAL BODY POSITIONS are based on spiritual principles! Anyone think that yoga’s spiritual principles are Jewish ones or Hindu ones?
We have nothing against stretching your body, or even breathing exercises. But, as this “certified yoga instructor with many years of experience” states directly in the ad, yoga is equally about spirituality! Being this is targeted at an orthodox Jewish market, spirituality is replaced with “consciousness” – but the meaning and intent is clear. Yoga is equally targeted at the physical and the soul.
As a Jew, Hindu spiritual practices are not appropriate or compatible. And yoga includes and is based upon such practices.
If you want some “quiet and clarity” and you’re a Jew, some Breslev hisbodedut will give it to you. Pilates will stretch your body. And Chabad contemplation will deepen your connection.