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Torah Yoga: The Art of Inwardness

Jul 29, 2019 - Aug 4, 2019

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

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Through the study of Torah and the practice of yoga, we will seek out the light in our body, mind, heart, soul, and ultimately the world.

Diane is a gifted and able yogi and an amazing Torah scholar. Her depth of knowledge and analytic abilities are remarkable. The Iyengar style is exceptional and particularly precise. It is very safe as a result.
—Ken Rabinoff-Goldman
 

The 19th century Chassidic Rebbe Sfat Emet teaches that everything in the human form hints to divine inner worlds and that the physical body is the doorway to spiritual realities. With Torah study and yoga practice we open the doorways of our body, mind, heart, and soul to ever-deepening inner worlds.

Retreat Overview

Each morning, Diane will lead a full Iyengar yoga practice that is integrated with a Jewish teaching. In each session, we will focus on a different family of thoughtfully sequenced yoga poses including standing poses, forward bends, baby back bends, and beginning inversions, so that throughout the week we will cover a wide and balanced range of poses. These yoga sessions are suitable for all levels of experience. Trained Torah Yoga assistants will be available to help individual students adapt the poses as needed.

Each afternoon, we will learn the Torah text from that morning’s practice through classical shiurim (teacher-led Torah), group discussions, and traditional Jewish chevruta (study with a partner). Knowledge of Hebrew is not necessary because we will examine original Hebrew texts together with their English translations. At the end of each day, the afternoon Torah study sessions will be integrated back into a series of restorative yoga postures and breath work.

In the early mornings and late afternoons, there will be Torah Yoga classes offered to the whole community by alumni of the Torah Yoga program. There will also be the opportunity to join the Davenen Leadership Training Institute community for prayer services.

In the evenings, we will be treated to experiential learning sessions connected to our theme led also by alumni of the Torah Yoga Program.

One of the most precious practices in the Jewish tradition is called Torah Lishma, the study of Torah for its own sake, with no other goal in mind. A primary goal of this course is for students to taste the sweetness of Torah Lishma. Adding yoga to Jewish learning adds a new and unique experiential dimension to Torah Lishma.

Whether they come as teachers, healers, rabbis, cantors, artists, therapists, dancers, or curious learners, students often leave a Torah Yoga retreat with a deep desire to share Torah Yoga with others. Those who are already teaching Torah Yoga will find renewed inspiration and sources from the texts and translations brought to this retreat.

No previous Torah study or yoga practice is required for participation in this retreat. All are welcome: newcomers to Torah Yoga, long-time practitioners, and alumni of the Torah Yoga program.

About the instructors

Diane Bloomfield

Diane Bloomfield is the author of Torah Yoga: Experiencing Jewish Wisdom through Classic Postures. She lives in Jerusalem where she teaches ongoing Torah and Torah Yoga classes live and on the web. As well, Diane teaches Torah Yoga retreats and workshops in the United States. Diane has learned Torah in Jerusalem since the mid-eighties. She is a certified Junior level Iyengar Yoga Instructor and a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She is currently working on her new book, Playing with Torah: Delight in a Distressed World.

 
Nancy Wolfson-Moche

Nancy Wolfson-Moche, CHHC, RYT-200 seeks to empower people to listen to their bodies through yoga and other embodied practices, including mindful cooking and eating. Nancy is the founder of you are because you eat, counseling and teaching health, wellness, and life skills to students of all ages through cooking, culinary medicine, and sacred culinary arts. Previously an editor and writer on lifestyle magazines, Nancy’s articles have appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers. She is an emerging Kohenet. For more about Nancy visit youarebecauseyoueat.com.

 

Julie Emden

Julie Emden, RYT-500, is the founding director of Embodied Jewish Learning. A graduate of five fellowship and teaching certification programs related to her work as a Jewish educator, Iyengar-based yoga instructor and movement/expressive artist, Julie has two decades of experience guiding others in exploring Jewish wisdom, text, and practices via the body in a variety of settings. Embodied Jewish Learning offers teacher trainings, retreats, online learning and strategic consultation, and guidance for Jewish Wellness Initiatives throughout the SF Bay Area. More info at www.embodiedjewishlearning.org Contact julie@embodiedjewishlearning.org.

 

 

Sample Schedule

7:00 am Community Yoga or Morning Tefillah (Prayer)
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Torah Uoga Practice with Iyengar Yoga
12:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Text Study with Restorative Yoga
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Evening Program