Saturday, April 09, 2011

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F- Yoga

by Reb Akiva & Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

Canadian wants to wear F- button

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 6 (UPI) -- A Canadian civil liberties group has challenged a Vancouver transit agency policy on behalf of a woman kept off a train for wearing a button with the "f- word."

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says censoring buttons is going too far, the Vancouver Sun reported. Jean Wharf, 21, whose button said "F--k Yoga," agrees.

A writer wrote, “Did you see this regarding Yoga at Frum Toronto?”  What do you think?

Ask the Rabbi - Practicing Yoga

Q. Is one is allowed to practice yoga if all of the Hindu aspects and associations are removed?

A. Rabbinical authorities of our times have addressed the permissibility of the practice of yoga. In essence, yoga involves a blend of physical and a meditative exercises. If done in a Halachik correct fashion there is no reason why it would not be permitted, as the Lubavitcher Rebeh Zt"l pointed out on Tamuz 5739.

In practice however, that may be difficult to achieve. You require the proper instructor or teaching method, one that will not engage in religious mantras, meditative ideas or names of postures that identify with an avoido-zoro or their believes, even if one does not personally believe in them.(Bemaareh Habazak 2,56). It can not be done in a mixed group as there are issues of Tznius (modesty) too.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit"a

With all due respect to Rabbi Bartfeld and Horav Shlomo Miller, shlita, there is an error in the above and a major downplaying of a problem.

1. The Lubavitcher Rebbe DID NOT permit the practice of yoga!  As we have posted here in the past, he said IF a neutral form of Transcendental Meditation could be found THEN it could be administered AS A MEDICAL TREATMENT to those in need of such or those involved in Transcendental Meditation who needed a way out.  He further said it was inappropriate for healthy normal Jews.

2. “In practice that may be difficult to achieve.”  Or IMPOSSIBLE to achieve.  It was NOT achieved with Transcendental Meditation.

3. A yoga teacher, even if this person has become a religiously committed mitzvah observant Jew, is NOT qualified to verify that the practices they wish to teach have had all aspects of idol worship, religious mantras, meditative ideas and names of postures removed.  To do so would require a Jewish law decider (a posek), a Jewish law expert in avodah zarah (idol worship practices), and a yogi (a yoga expert) in combination to verify this. 

Yoga is not kosher.  We have examined a few yoga classes given in religious Jewish institutions and yoga programs identifying themselves as “kosher”.  In all cases we have quickly found obvious and significant problems with such programs.

Our advise is straight forward.  Yoga is not kosher and is extremely difficult to make kosher.  One who wishes a stretch based exercise program should consider alternatives such as Pilates.

1 comment:

  1. I have lots to say about this, but
    1) Rav Shlomo Miller is a big gadol these days, and you can't quickly dismiss what he says. If he says Yoga is okay, then a regular person can be somach on that. (a Lubavitcher, obviously, will follow what his rebbe says).
    2) Pilates is not stretch based at all! Where did you invent that from? Pilates is about core strengthening. Pilates is quite intense.
    3) I know a lot about Yoga and in essence, it is just stretching. That is what everyone knows Yoga as these days. I would have to work very hard to figure out how this could at all be an avodah zara. Yoga has been a life saver for me. It changed me from having chronic back pain to being able to function normally. There is no other stretching that I know of in the world that is as effective as Yoga.


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