Winter is typically a season for dormancy. A time when the trees and other plants, as well as many animals, shut down or hibernate during the cold weather. Not so for us humans. We have been busy. Presidential elections, significant legislation on taxes and perhaps gun control, a Superbowl game, and even a few Jews planting trees for Tu B’Shevat have kept Americans running around – not to mention the quotidian tasks of work and school and family.
We are fortunate that we are able to replenish our energies daily, not requiring months of down-time to make it through another year. But the constant running about takes a toll on us. Shabbat is meant to help, but far too few of us seize the opportunity to take a much-needed rest – despite what thousands of years of history fought to achieve. There seems to be no off-season for most of us. That is not good for athletes. And it is not good for any of us, really.
Cantor Lisa Levine has written a book called “Yoga Shalom”, merging the practices of yoga with Jewish prayer modes. In an effort to bring the meditative rewards of yoga to a uniquely Jewish expression, she has developed a blend of these ancient traditions to benefit mind, body and spirit.
This month – this Sunday, in fact – Or Chadash is inviting everyone to a private yoga class (OC members and friends only) in Bedminster. While we will be doing traditional yoga with a Bikram trained instructor, I am happy to lend you the Yoga Shalom book for your own exploration. I hope you will RSVP and join us as we find new ways to connect with one another, honor our own need for quiet time and promote a greater awareness of a healthful life.
Rabbi Joseph M. Forman