If you've had similar experiences and you'd like to share them, please drop me a line.
(NB: I'm not going to stuck up anything pro-yoga, just as I wouldn't stick up anything pro-bacon, just so you know.)
I was introduced to your website a few months ago by my good friend.
I share a lot of the values you have when it comes to spirituality, mysticism and yiddishkeit. Yet, when I read your article about Yoga, I became very upset.. Let me give you more details... I know this is a bit of a long email...but there is a point to it at the end :)
I grew up modern orthodox in a very spiritual sefardic home. As I became more religious and met my husband, I became more and more in tuned with my spirituality and mysticism and stopped doing a few things that had been holding me back spiritually, one of them being Zumba; as I noticed that it was bringing out a side of me that was not tznius. I was a little sad about losing the only work-out option that worked for me.. until a few months ago when I joined a class of Kosher Yoga in my very jewish neighborhood.
The class is taught by a jewish orthodox woman and some very reputable people go to the class, such as the daughter in law of one of our community poskim.
I started feeling the wonderful physical benefits of yoga, and was going regularly. I kept telling my husband that although I am fortunate to have a woman-only kosher yoga class in our neighborhood, I am fully aware that Yoga can become very cultish and asked him to keep an eye on me, should he see a change in my behavior or frumkeit.
I was just so happy to be back to the gym after two years and actually enjoy it...
Until I saw your posts about the psak on Yoga. I was SO upset and couldn't believe that mere stretching could be hurtful.. I called our Rav and told him about the psak. He asked me a few questions and then told me that the standards in Israel are much higher and in our community this is acceptable. I felt relieved, and I believe that he is right in a certain way.. But deep inside me something did not feel right. I knew I could trust our Rav when it comes to sheilas, but this specific question required more advanced knowledge in that specific area.
A few days later, my friend and I met up and I told her about how much I love your articles and explained to her my dilemma with Yoga. I admitted to her that I may actually be blinded to the truth. She suggested that I daven to have clarity. So I did. And for the next three weeks my schedule did not allow me to attend the yoga class... Untill two days ago.. when I was able to attend a class again. I came back feeling so energized...
The next day I woke up feeling so refreshed and not groggy even though I had slept a little bit less than I am used to.. In the afternoon however, I became increasingly sad and even started crying in the middle of having dinner with my husband... he asked me if everything was okay.. and I could not figure out why I was sad and so out of it all of a sudden, and so empty inside.
When my husband left to learn that night, I went on your blog to read about healing. I started reading older articles and clicked on "The Missing Aura". When I read about that woman's aura being gone after yoga, it automatically clicked in my head. I was shocked. This was my answer.
Two days later, I am still feeling down.. although I am grateful to have received my answer from shamayim. I am so grateful that I was able to see the truth. So now I am left searching for a new outlet :)
I have to admit that it was extremely hard to open my eyes and to want to see the truth. I hope that you would appreciate me sharing this experience...and that many more people will come to that realization too!!