This year the Temple will once again offer Shabbat yoga on select Saturdays
(see Calendar) from 9-10am in the Social Hall. I want to explore the
question you may be asking yourself: why would I practice yoga on Shabbat?
Or what is the connection between yoga and Shabbat?
I think one of the best ways to think about it is by quoting Rabba Kaya from her June 17, 2022 Water from the Well column. She said, “We are called upon, every day, to create the internal conditions that will enable an experience of connection with the Divine Mystery,” and in truth, that is a beautiful and precise way to describe yoga: it helps us create those internal conditions. And in doing so, it both prepares us for prayer, and is prayer itself; it is both an activity in harmony with Shabbat, and also an expression of it.
One way yoga helps us create those internal conditions is simply by calming our nervous system, and teaching us how to do so consciously. When our nervous system is calmer, i.e. not in an activated “fight or flight” state, we are calmer, and we begin to see more clearly, with greater kindness, and compassion. It helps us focus and quiet our minds. And as our minds quiet, we begin to notice and ask, what’s here in this quiet stillness? Who am I when I’m not worrying, distracted, or pressured? What’s most important now? What am I grateful for? You might notice that these are the kinds of questions one asks in Temple, and that they are comfortably, if not spontaneously, asked in the inner space created when we practice yoga.
As Rabba Kaya wrote, we have “the capacity to build an internal sanctuary, a makom, a place for the Divine Presence to dwell…to create a centered, balanced, and loving inner state, so that the Divine Presence may be expressed through us. But it takes a commitment to some regular spiritual practice, one that helps us to open our awareness to the blessings in our lives and the profound ways in which all is connected…This is the gift of Shabbat…connecting and expanding our awareness, for building an inner Mishkan.” Please join me in developing your own regular spiritual practice, and inner sanctuary, by trying Shabbat yoga.
You can find out more details on the Temple website where you can register, print and sign a waiver to bring with you when you arrive at your first class. The class is FREE to Temple Israel members; $10 per class for non-members.
We are pleased to welcome back yoga teacher Allison Miller this fall.
Practicing Hatha Yoga since 1997, Allison has trained with a wide range of teachers on specialties including mindfulness-based stress reduction, trauma-sensitive yoga, and meditation practices. A licensed Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, and teacher, Allison approaches each practice as an opportunity to connect with our true nature. She is honored to facilitate yoga at Temple Israel, where such inspiration can be drawn from the Torah and experienced through the practice.
September 10, 17, 24
October 1, 5
November 5, 12, 19
December 3, 10, 2022
Meet in the Chapel. Mats provided or bring your own.
Kindly register for each session you can attend, via the website calendar.