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#62 Is Yoga Kosher?
Yoga and other forms of meditation are highly controversial according to Halacha as many of them are rooted in idolatry and Avodah Zarah. While the Rebbe encouraged those already involved in transcendental and other similar forms of meditation to find Kosher alternatives that have no association with idolatry, this does not necessarily mean that this is a path for the public. In a Yechidus with Mrs. Hasofer, the Rebbe said that the only meditation that is recommended for all Yidden is the meditation found in Shulchon Oruch, meditating before Davening. Other meditations should only be used by people who need them for therapeutic reasons and under the guidance of a licensed and frum practitioner, in accordance with instructions from a practicing Rov, as the Rebbe often recommended. In fact, using these meditations unnecessarily could hurt a person psychologically. In another letter, the Rebbe writes that it is surprising and painful to see a Jewish person waste precious time in pseudo-greener pastures elsewhere outside of Torah and Mitzvos, referring specifically to "Yoga and similar meditative cults even if not connected with Avodah Zarah". Again, as usual, one should discuss this with a competent Rov.
Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.
Text by Miss Esther Rochel Elkaim