Walk Tall
Lech-Lecha 2010/5771
KOSHER SUTRA You shall be a blessing (Genesis 12:2)
SOUL SOLUTION Extend more blessings into your life
BIBLIYOGA POSE Downward-facing Dog
BODY BENEFITS Elongate spine and extend body
Although it’s been years since I stopped exaggerating my true height on my acting resumé, an article recently grabbed my attention - ‘Yoga makes you taller’. The claim is true, as many of us don’t stand at our full height, due to contracting our shoulders or slumping as the days wearily move on.

Our Kosher Sutra is spoken to Abraham when he is told that he will be a blessing. In Chassidic thought, a blessing is an extension of God’s will. Rather than being a brand new creation of goodness, the mystics think of a blessing as something that is already there, but we are channelling this energy into earth*.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with a more detailed asana practice, looking at the Iyengar approach to detailed physical alignment. The specificity is quite amazing as it is possible to elongate the spine and create more length throughout the body. I literally felt myself getting taller as I was able to stretch an extra 10-20 cm after five minutes in a posture. It felt terrific and you can achieve this with ease.

Today’s posture is downward-facing dog which enables us to focus on the arms, shoulders, spine, hips and legs. Trying bringing your attention to extending yourself, create more space your heart, and extending the flow of blessings through your body and into the world. If you do it correctly, you’re even guaranteed to feel taller.

Walk tall

Shalom V’Ahava


*The concept of ‘Avodat Hashem’ is that our actions draw the blessing into the world, whereas the notion of ‘Yehi Ratzon’ is that our prayers influence the will of the Creator.

Marcus J Freed (c) 2010

Downward-facing Dog

i. Begin on all fours. Make sure that your hands are directly below your shoulders and that your shins are parallel.
ii. Inhale and look up.
iii. Exhale and tuck your toes underneath your feet, straightening your legs and bringing your hips upwards. Work your heels towards the ground.
iv. Push your hands into the ground, pressing into your palms.
v. Straighten your back and rotate your shoulders outwards so that your back expands and you are able to deepen the breath.

Modification: A remedial version of the posture is to place blocks on either side of your head. If your wrists hurt, another variation is to hold onto blocks.

Downward-facing Dog