Kosher Sutra: Everything's alright
Re'eh 5770/2010
KOSHER SUTRA 'You will dwell securely' (Deut. 12:10)
SOUL SOLUTION Peace of mind and body
BIBLIYOGA POSE Inclined Plane/Purvattanasana
BODY BENEFITS Strengthens arms, wrists and shoulders

Everybody likes security. We all want to know where the next meal is coming from, that there is a roof above our head and that we are going to be safe in our old age. This is why we buy insurance policies, pay mortgages and invest in pensions. There is one basic fact that we also choose to ignore; our time on earth is limited, we aren’t actually in control of the bigger picture and that we are eventually going to die. Jolly, huh.

The Kosher Sutra is spoken by Moses to the Israelites telling that when they come to the land, they will dwell in security and that there will be safety from their enemies. This must have been a huge relief after a 40 year journey. They were safe at last. But how often is the rug pulled from under us? When did you last feel completely secure, only to find that the wind changed and you were thrown into a storm of uncertainty?

The Yoga Sutras suggest that a yoga pose should be ‘sthirasukham’, or ‘secure and pleasant’ (Yoga Sutras 2:46). We get into a difficult physical posture and then have to find a way of finding a way of making it secure and pleasant. This takes practice but it is possible over time, in even the most difficult of postures.

The Kosher Sutra, ‘Vayishavtem Betach’ means ‘you will dwell securely’ (Deut 12:10) but could also be understood as ‘you will be seated securely’. The Hebrew Vayishavtem comes from yoshev, meaning ‘to sit’. The Sanskrit word for a yoga pose, asana, also means ‘seated’. Our challenge is to sit securely wherever we are in life, whether it is in a challenging job, having a difficult conversation or attempting an uncomfortable backbend.

How can find this emotional and physical security if we feel turmoil around us? Sit still, breathe deeply and connect with God. The commandment of ‘dwelling securely’ is based on the belief that we are not alone and that we are guided by a higher power. If we can fully align our body to find this secure and pleasant way of sitting - sitting with whichever activity we are doing at the time - then we can move into a place of deep joy* by knowing that everything’s going to be alright.

Marcus J Freed (c) 2010.

This is referred to as the Eastern stretch because it stretches the front of your body which is traditionally facing towards the east during a yoga practice.

i. Sit in Staff pose. Inhale your hips up into the air, straightening your legs.
ii. Aim to get your feet pressed flat against the ground. Drop your head backwards.
iii. Engage the whole body and breathe deeply.

Variation: Come into Tabletop pose with your knees bent or you can just place your hands behind you in Staff pose to benefit from the mild backbend.

Seated: Place your hands on either side of the chair, taking hold of the base of the back of the chair and pushing your elbows backwards. Raise your sternum and drop your head back.

*This state of joy is described two verses later - "And you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God you and your sons and your daughters and your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite who is within your cities, for he has no portion or inheritance with you" (Deut 12:12).