The Yoga of Yom Kippur
“But on the tenth day of this seventh month it is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation unto you, and you shall afflict your souls, and you shall bring a fire-offering to the Lord. And you shall do no work on this very day for it is a day of atonement to atone for you before the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23:27-28)
In the cycle of Jewish life, Yom Kippur is the deepest day of intimacy with the Divine. For 24 hours, Jews abstain from food, liquid, washing, sex and wearing leather in order to distance themselves from the material world, to dwell in the realm of the angels and to view the truth of their lives from the vantage point of their deaths. It is about human failure and Divine forgiveness.
Yom Kippur prayers emphasize the cleansing of the soul, the opportunity of change/repentance, atonement. The Vidui (confessional prayers) are in the plural to remind us that we as a community are collectively responsible for one another. From a yogic perspective, it is about looking clearly at the dukha (suffering) one has created and asking for God’s help in diminishing negative samscaras (patterns.) It is about experiencing our broken-heartedness and opening our hearts to the Divine. Through returning to the Source (T’shuvah,) soulful prayer (T’fillah,) and acts of generosity and righteousness (T’zedakah) we commit to creating a life of blessing in the year to come.
In peace and loving gratitude,
Sangha Yoga Shala will be closed from 5pm on Sunday 9/27 – Monday 9/28 in honor of Yom Kippur. Regular classes resume on Tuesday 9/29.