TGIF Torah Yoga

"Stretching our bodies and souls"

Go Outside Yourself

In by Judy Schindler

This Shabbat calls us to go outside of ourselves and of our homes.

One week a year, the text of Leviticus tells us to go out
not only to see and to celebrate the natural world
but to live in the world – quite literally.

Leviticus tells us this week to build sukkot, to build huts.
and if the elements of nature are not too harsh,
we should dwell in them.

We are meant to enjoy our meals in our sukkot, our temporary huts.
to sleep in our huts, to look up through the leaf-covered roofs,
and to see the stars.

Leviticus calls us this day
to celebrate our harvest,
to appreciate the transition of nature,
to offer hospitality to others,
and most of all to find joy.

Sukkot are temporary shelters.
They are fragile and beautiful.
We build them as best as we can
so that they will be strong.

Our bodies likewise are shelters – to our souls.
They are fragile and beautiful.
We build them as best as we can so that they can be strong.

Torah yoga is about breathing in Shabbat.
Torah yoga is about strengthening the shelters of our bodies.
Torah yoga is about celebrating the rich harvest our lives.

“Go outside,” this Shabbat calls us.
Go outside of your home and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Go outside yourself and offer hospitality –
through an open home, an open hand, or an open heart.
Create and celebrate the sacred shelters in your life –
shelters of strength, shelters of peace.


Notes for Yoga practice:

Torah yoga invites Breath, Torah Yoga invites Strength, Torah Yoga invites Celebration. Our Torah today is about building strong shelters. Our yoga today will focus on using our breath as a connection to build strong bodies that can be open and flexible, to celebrate the connections in our lives of mind, body, spirit, and to each other in the community.

*3-Part breathing on our back
*Figure 4, hand-to-foot, reclined spinal twist, hip opener ALL on our back, on each side
*Table, cat/puppy(cow) with movement
*Childs pose
*Baby Cobra, cobra, sphynx, up dog or choice
*Down dog
*3 Point dog, cheetah, modified side plank, table, thread the needle. Each side
*Plank to belly
*Shoulder opener
*Chest opener
*Table, cat/puppy, seated to seated cat/puppy
*reclined spinal twist
*final rest in savasana
Closing: seated, palms open to receive the benefits of building strength.

Meditation and notes created by: Rabbi Judy Schindler, Shelley Bear and Aly Faber

Photo by Mike Erskine.

Generously funded by the Lenora Stein Community Creative Learning Grant.