Someone just sent me this press release (below) advertising yoga teacher training for Jewish women, in Jerusalem. (Please, pass the barf bag...)
I'm so sick of this subject already, truth be told, but given that it's apparently 'International Yoga Day', and that the people who are intent on trying to 'kosherise' yoga really have no shame, clearly I have to step back into the ring to point out the inconsistencies about this 'Jewish' yoga course. And then, whoever cares about their own neshama will do as they see fit, but at least I tried.
First, that '200 hour' teacher training program being referred to below is accredited by the Yoga Alliance. You can take a look at their full requirements by clicking HERE, but here's the bits that are particularly relevant:
1. Techniques, Training and Practice: 100 hours
Minimum Contact Hours: 75 hours
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 50 hours
Topics in this category could include, but would not be limited to: asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques. These hours must be a mix between: 1) analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques, and 2) guided practice of the techniques themselves. Both areas must receive substantial emphasis.
If you're under the misguided notion that all that 'breathwork, chanting, mantras and meditation' stuff is going to be from Jewish sources, as claimed in the misleading press release below, let's set the record straight on that now.
This next section is also from the Yoga Alliance website 200 -hour accreditation program:
Minimum Contact Hours: 20 hours
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours
Special Requirements: A minimum of 2 of the above Contact Hours must be spent on ethics for yoga teachersTopics in this category could include, but would not be limited to:
- The study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita)
- Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma
- Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community
- Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others (seva)
IE: The sources for this stuff are coming from idol-worshipping HINDU stuff, NOT 'Judaic-orientated sources' as being claimed below (unless of course, idol-worshipping texts have also now been 'kosherised'. At this point, nothing would shock me.)
So, this class is comfortable for any Jewish woman who:
a) Is happy to spend at least 30 hours immersed in idolatrous philosophy and Hindu religious mysticism
b) Doesn't give a stuff about the following two mitzvot d'Orayta namely:
1)“And you shall not follow their rituals – Leviticus 18.3 – which proscribes rituals that are used in idol worship.”
2)“And you shall not act according to their practices – Exodus 23-24 – which forbids any practices specific to idolatrous peoples, even those that have nothing to do with idolatry.”
c) Has absolutely no idea why a Hindu statesman would be praising her new 'exercise' routine so highly, while also mentioning the (deified) 'Sage Patanjali' and bigging up yoga's spiritual dimension.
d) Won't take the time to ask Kinneret Yoga WHO their rabbinic backers are, or how studying idolatrous Hindu texts (and then practicising idolatrous moves based on those texts) and the Torah's injunction prohibiting any involvement with idol worship can fit together in a truly 'Jewish' way.
(NOTE: Orthodox rabbinic approval for this course is not clearly stated anywhere on Kinneret Yoga's site (that I could see, when I was looking around), OR in this press release.)
A 200-hour Intensive Yoga Teacher Training Program, claimed to be the “first yoga training in the world to cater to Jewish women” is being launched in Jerusalem in July, with a follow-up starting in September.
Organized by Toronto based Kinneret Yoga, whose tagline is “move and be moved”, it will not hold classes on Shabbat or Jewish holidays. It is; however; open to women of all faiths and backgrounds.
Kinneret Yoga seems to appeal “to a broader international Jewish community of women who share a passion for practicing yoga”; where “mindfulness” is understood from Jewish teachings and courses “are taught using Judaic-oriented sources, philosophy, mindfulness, metaphors, dialogue, and ethics”. It claims that classes and programs are comfortable for Jewish women. It also coaches women online courses on “Yoga and Judaism”, “Creating Curriculum for Kid’s Yoga in Jewish Schools”, etc. Kinneret Dubowitz is the General Director.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, welcomed Yoga Teacher’s Training catering to Jewish women to be held in Jerusalem.
Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a recently released “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.