Everybody wants a legacy and the opportunity to leave a mark on earth. Some do it by creating buildings, others do it by building families and some leave a trail of havoc and broken hearts. Moses recognises that he’s not going to be able to see his mission through to fulfilment as that it is necessary to appoint a successor. He calls God by a strange name that hasn’t been heard until now, and says “God of the breath of all flesh, set a man [eg leader] over the congregation”. Sometimes translated as the ‘spirit’ of all flesh, he uses the word ruach which is the Godly breath that hovered over the waters of creation.
Any process of spiritual development is about self-mastery and increasing the power we have over our thoughts and our body. We can read the Kosher Sutra literally, as we aim to connect to a sense of God within and become a leader of our internal ‘congregation’, in other words, gaining mastery over the fragmented aspects of our personality. Through self-control and discipline we can realise ambitions, pursue goals and transform our life for the better.
When the sage Patanjali introduced the idea of God into yoga practice he wrote that yoga is achieved through ‘surrender to or worship of the indwelling omnipresence’ or ‘persevering devotion to God’ (Yoga Sutras 2:32, Swamij translation). This is indwelling presence of God is the idea of ‘God of the breath of all flesh’, and through our asana and vinyasa practice we aim to realise this sense of divinity within.
Moses recognises the person who is the ideal protégée; his name is Joshua ben Nun and he is described as a man ‘in whom there is spirit/breath’ (Numbers 17:18).
The physical practice of yoga revolves around the movement of prana, or breath, and we’re told that ‘mental equanimity may be gained by the even expulsion and retention of energy’ (Yoga Sutras 3:15). Focused pranayama, the direction of energy, allows us to become master of our bodies and minds. This is certainly easier said than done, but continual practice allows us to strengthen our world from within.
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THE KOSHER SUTRAS © MARCUS J FREED/BIBLIYOGA 2010/5770
Marcus J Freed is the creator of Bibliyoga, USA & North America Director of Yoga Mosaic – the association for Jewish yoga teachers, and yogi-in-residence for JConnectLA and Jewlicious Festivals.
REVOLVED SIDE ANGLE
i. Begin in Mountain Pose. Inhale and jump your feet 1 metre apart with your right foot pointing forwards and your left foot parallel to the back of the mat.
ii. Exhaling, bring your left arm across your body, placing your left hand on the floor to the right of your right foot.
iii. Inhale your right arm so that it is over your right ear, engaging your body and energising the posture.
iv. Look upwards and ensure there is a direct line from your left foot through to the fingertips of your right hand.
v. Raise the arches on both of your feet.
Modification: Rest your left forearm across your right thigh and put both hands in prayer position, looking upwards. Or put your left hand on a block to the right of your right foot.
Advanced: Bind your left hand beneath your right thigh, taking hold of your right wrist.
Benefits: Reverse Angle is excellent for improving digestion and helping clear constipation as it compresses the digestive tract. It improves flexibility and toning throughout the legs and helps with balance.