A collection of teachings and guided meditations that take Torah off the page onto the mat and into embodied experience.
Shalom! Welcome To Gesher Yoga
Gesher translates to bridge in Hebrew. Yoga offers us exactly that; a bridge that yokes our outer world of skin, muscles and bones to our inner world of breath, soul and intuition. Jewish Spirituality also instructs us on how to live a life that is simultaneously secular and sacred through the ancient teachings found in the Torah, t’fillah, Chassidut, Kabbalah and ultimately by listening for the still small voice of Shekhinah, who dwells within each of us.
On this blog you will find the notes I've used to teach on-going Shabbat morning sessions, mostly at my shule. Sometimes there are Asana (posture) suggestions to be found at the end of an entry. Other times they are not there, mainly because I never know who's going to show up for our yoga minyan...I often like to wait and see who comes so I can structure that aspect of class according to the "bodies" that are present, as there is a wide range of physical abilities within the community...I don't like to be tied to a plan, but to move and teach authentically and appropriately for all in attendance. My approach is always gentle so that everyone feels comfortable and capable of full participation, so please don't hesitate to join us if you happen to be in Nashua, NH on a Shabbat morning that I am teaching. To find out when the next Gesher Yoga Session is happening go to: Temple Beth Abraham.
Scrolled up yoga mats supperimposed with trees dressed in Fall foliage. A serendipidous photo merging symbols that connect me ever more deeply to Torah. For a fuller description of this image click on the photo and it will transport you to an entry in my blog Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.
From the depths of my soul I wish to honor and thank my many yoga and Torah teachers who have shared their wisdom with me, knowingly and sometimes un-knowingly. I cannot possibly list everyone…but here are a few…
Diane Bloomfield Sylvia Boorsein Bob Butera Rosemary Clough Rabbi Rachel Cowan Vivian Dolkart Rabbi Shelly Dorf Julie Emden Dr. Lawrence Fine Rabbi Nancy Flam Karen Hasskarl Rabbi Myriam Klotz Noreen Leibson Naomi Less Terri Schuster Rabbi Jonathan Slater Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett Rabbi Michael Stassfeld Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg Hari Zandler
There are so many more of you to thank including my soulmate Gordon Hegfield, my Nana Reggie, Aunt Bebe and Aunt Rosie (all of blessed memory), my Mom Sally Siegel, my beautiful daughters Belin and Rosewillow and my many brilliant students over the years…all wise teachers of Torah.
Check out Paula Amann's article about Yoga and Jewish women in Jewish Women Magazine online!
Read about yoga through the perspective of some influential Jewish yoga teachers (including two of my beloved teachers-Rabbi Myriam Klotz and Diane Bloomfield). I have a few comments in there too-pretty cool to share the page with my teachers-pretty humbling actually-they are brilliant, shining, inspiring beings and I am truly blessed to be their student!
My life is filled with many joys, including: living on the edge of the woods where I spend as much time outdoors in nature as I can, exploring creativity through photography and writing poetry, prose, essays and music, singing, teaching mindfulness meditation, coaching others as they unlock their own soul's creative expression or sitting with them as together we connect with Spirit, living with and loving my husband, daughters and our two remaining animal companions. I also live with a chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis. I’d been sick on and off or at least 12 years before being correctly diagnosed with MS in 2009. (This is not unusual with an autoimmune disease.) I feel as though MS has changed me for the good. That might sound strange, but somehow as the neural connections in my central nervous system decrease, my compassion toward my own lived experience and toward all beings increases. For this I am grateful far beyond words. I offer this prayer to YOU: May you be blessed with chessed (kindness). May you be blessed with rachamim (compassion). May you be blessed with simcha (joy). May you be blessed with shalom (peace). May it be so for all beings.