CREDOS : Jewish Yoga — III

What are some examples of the yoga principles that you see in the Torah?

Yoga is a practice of being in the process. A yoga teacher of mine once used the story of the Garden of Eden. He said, “What was the exile from the garden? The exile was when they reached for the fruit. What is reaching for the fruit? It’s being too concerned with the results of what you’re doing rather than just the process.” There it was, yoga right in the Torah. Some people say, “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” It’s not about that. It’s learning to stretch in a way that you are so attentive to every stage of the posture. If you look at the book of Genesis and the description of the creation of trees, when God says, “Let there be trees,” the way God says it is, “Let there be fruit trees, bearing fruit.” Torah study looks at words closely. When you actually come to the passage where the trees come out, it says, “And there were trees bearing fruit” instead of “there were fruit trees bearing fruit.” One understanding is that there should be a distinction between the actual tree and the fruit.

Often in our lives people are waiting for the fruit. They’re waiting until they get somewhere before they enjoy something, instead of feeling like every day, every moment, every breath has its particular taste, or its particular fruit. Every posture is a possibility to bring you back to that consciousness of being in the moment and feeling the fruit of this particular moment. —