Putting The ‘Om’ in ‘Shalom’

From The National Post

Although Michelle Katz, a Jewish woman who teaches yoga in Toronto, was never wholly bent out of shape over the practice’s Hindu and Buddhist roots, she is more comfortable with “shalom” than she is with “om,” prompting her to start teaching Torah Yoga as part of an increasingly popular trend that pairs Judaism and Hebrew chants with yoga postures.

“I simply wanted to do yoga more Jewishly,” said Ms. Katz, who has taught Torah Yoga for five years. “I see it as a way to connect more deeply with my faith.”

As the popularity of yoga increases, so too do questions about whether any country or religion has a monopoly on yoga and whether the practice, which is grounded in Sanskrit writing and Eastern spirituality, is contrary to Jewish, Christian or Muslim beliefs.

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Zen Village owner envisions free yoga lessons for seniors

From Miami Herald – Master Chufei Tsai stands over a group of two dozen kindergartners at the Barnyard Community Center in the West Grove on a Wednesday afternoon.

Together, they hold up their fingers and intonate ”OM.” Under Tsai’s instructions, their tiny bodies shift into yoga poses.

”We have very aggressive children,” says Sylvia Jordan, director of the center. “This calms them down.”

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