Professor Stephen Hawking pushed out the scientific boat and said that technically we can actually time travel. Just as soon as we* build a spaceship that can go close to the speed of light, it will be possible to move forwards but not backwards. The reason we can’t go back in time, according to the Prof, is because it would be impossible for a scientist to travel into his/her own past and shoot themselves. In other words, we cannot remove the cause for a later event, because the law of cause and effect is immutable.
This week’s Kosher Sutra touches on a powerful law of nature that allows us to revolutionise the way we see the world, and the way that we act within it. The law of shemittah is the commandment to allow our agricultural lands to lie fallow once every seven years, thereby enabling the earth to rejuvenate and restore itself. It is described as a Sabbath for the land and makes sense in these days of sustainable and ethical living. Rashi ups the stakes when he later explains that shemittah is more than just a seven-year agricultural cycle farmers, but something that we ignore at our own peril**. If a farmer didn’t keep to the rule, it could lead to the ruin of their business and eventual loss of faith, home and livelihood.
Our yoga practice allows us to consider this notion of cause-and-effect when breathe our way into the gaps between each moment. A powerful pranayama breath (ie nostril-based breathing) allows us to become more conscious in the moment and can appear to slow down time as we are able to observe each moment with more focus. The more we carefully observe our breath and posture on the yoga mat, the more we are able to become aware of our actions in everyday life, and consider the consequences of what we are doing.
A good friend of mine says that ‘we can’t talk our way out of what we’ve behaved our way into’. In other words, when we act a certain way it is going to have consequences that we may not like, but we can save ourselves from those consequences by changing our actions in the first place. One way to do this is by applying the Kosher Sutra to today’s posture, and to begin to transform the way we live for the better. We have the opportunity to break free from the chains of unconscious living, to ensure that our actions are going to bring sustaining growth to the world, and to improve the lives of those around us.
*Well, when I say ‘we build a spaceship’, of course I don’t mean ‘me’. I’d get my friend Rafi to do it ‘cos he’s a PhD in Quantum Physics and is an expert on Dr Who.
*see his commentary on 26:1.
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THE KOSHER SUTRAS © MARCUS J FREED/BIBLIYOGA 2010/5770
BIBLIYOGA POSE - Mountain
Today’s pose is Mountain Pose. The Torah portion ‘Behar’ means ‘on the mountain’…so the pose is a no-brainer, for lack of a more elegant expression….
i. Stand with both feet side by side, the sides of your big toes touching one another.
ii. Standing straight, draw your hands down by sides of either thigh, which will bring your shoulder-blades into alignment.
iii. Engage your thigh muscles, hugging the flesh into the bones and be aware of an upwards motion on the backs of your heels, even though they are firmly planted in the ground.
iv. Tuck your tummy inwards, using the upwards-flying lock.
v. Relax your facial muscles, focus your eyes on a point directly in front of you and close your eyes.
Benefits: Discover your perfect alignment, balancing the shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Mountain pose is a ‘root’ posture, providing a point of reference for other poses as it rehearses the neutral position. It teaches balance and core alignment.