Thursday, February 16, 2012


Who Thinks This is Kosher?

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.


  1. So true. I know of way too many yidden who think it's just excercise or a great way to "connect". connect to.......other religions teachings. I appreciate these posts because it gives information on this topic verses emotional argument.

  2. Your last paragraph says it all. It's a message that needs to be lovingly pounded into our heads again and again. Why do we look afar when we have the real deal in our laps?

  3. Rabbi: Recently I saw that a group of "Orthodox" rabbis were going on a retreat and the music would be provided by a person called 'Kirtan rabbi'. One of the rabbi's we were interviewing for our little shul was involved in this. Is this kind of thing properly Jewish?

  4. If someone wants to, they can do a relaxtion excersize without the yoga, just relaxation

  5. you havent proven anything by your comments just made a bunch of assumptions.

    1) "Yoga is an exercise that works on creating a flowing and focused conscious" who says there is any such thing as Hindu or Jewish flowing conscious (whatever that means) If they said its an exercise in breathing would you say its Hindu breathing or Jewish breathing? Breathing is breathing. Maybe focused and flowing consciousness is not anything particular to one person or another.

    2) Physical body positions based on spiritual principles. Who says these principles are different for Jews or others? Maybe these principles are universal?

    I'm not arguing one way or the other I'm just pointing out your argument is lacking.

  6. to anon 2/17: maybe read other posts on this blog. there are differences as the positions, names of the positions, source of the positions, "energy" associated with the positions in 'yoga' are avodah zarah, period.
    different note: i saw a presentation where an 'ortho' rabbi has a whole program dealing with "mindfulness". ??!!!
    i was like what-the....
    this is an explicitly understood buddhist term.


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