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Ah, Freedom! (Passover and 42) April 15, 2020

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Don’t forget, A Little Yin… & A Lotta Yang presents “Lung Health and How We Cope Right Now (viewing COVID-19 through Traditional Chinese Medicine and YIN Yoga).” This is a special live event on YouTube (not my channel) starting at 3 PM CST. Details and link below.


“Thank you, God,
Look how misery has ended for us.
The rain has fallen,
The corn has grown,
All the children that were hungry are going to eat.
Let’s dance the Congo,
Let’s dance the Petro,
God said in Heaven
That misery has ended for us.”

– “Merci Bon Dieu” by Frantz Casseus, sung by Harry Belafonte

Can you imagine being the first to taste freedom?

I mean, it’s easy to think that there would be such overwhelming relief, gratitude, and joy. And maybe there was. But, there would also be trepidation. There might also be hesitation. There might be a little doubt that you know what to do or how to act. There might be some concern about the others who would follow you.

Can you imagine the first who knows the fear of having that freedom taken away? Can you imagine the attitude of the person who is first?

During last night’s class, I mentioned that Nahshon was the first to step into the turbulent waves of the Red Sea as the Jewish people were fleeing Egypt (and slavery) during the events commemorated in Passover. Nahshon is like Aaron in that, if your knowledge of Passover comes from a Hollywood movie or only from a random Christian sermon on the events, you may not have ever heard of him. You might even think that I made him up – or, given my background in theatre, that he is a compilation of people. But, if you go a little deeper into the story, there is quite a bit of information about this young man, who is often overlooked.

“The Lord spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert, in the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month, in the second year after the exodus from the land of Egypt, saying. Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by families following their fathers’ houses; a head count of every male according to the number of their names. From twenty years old and upwards, all who are fit to go out to the army in Israel, you shall count them by their legions you and Aaron. With you there shall be a man from each tribe, one who is head of his father’s house. These are the names of the men who shall stand with you; for Reuben, Elitzur the son of Shedeur. For Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. For Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab.”

 

– Bamidbar / Numbers 1:1 – 1:7

 

Nahshon (or Naashon, in the King James version) appears by name in a number of places in the Bible, including The Book of Ruth and First Chronicles (specifically 2:11). If you go to the beginning of First Chronicles and follow the names, you will see he was a descendent of Adam, by way of Judah. He was also Aaron’s brother-in-law; was designated by Moses, at the behest of G-d, as a prince and military commander of the Tribe of Judah; and ultimately was the ancestor of King David, King Solomon, and all the kings of the Kingdom of Judah in the 10th and 9th century BCE. (He is also mentioned in the Christian New Testament, Matthew 1:4 and Luke 3:33, as an ancestor of Jesus.) According to the census instructions G-d gives Moses in “The Book of Numbers,” Nahshon was at least 20 years old during exodus. He not only “travels” first, he is also the first to make an offering to G-d once they are delivered and the tabernacle is established (N 7:12-17).

“Of the tribe of Judah, their descendants according to their families, according to their fathers’ houses; the number of individual names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were fit to go out to the army. Those counted from the tribe of Judah: 74,600.”

 

– Bamidbar / Numbers 1:26 – 1:27

 

In the Christian context, we think of the story of Passover starting in “The Book of Exodus” – and this makes sense if you think of it purely in the sense of this one story, the story of exodus, of a mass of people leaving. If you spend a year studying Torah, the Jewish Bible, than the story of exodus comes to you in the weekly portion called “Shemot,” which means “names” – as the book actually starts with a list of names of people, and their descendants, who came into Egypt. The story actually starts with a little background about the people and how they became slaves in Egypt.

The writers of the Bible are fond of names. There are plenty of books that begin with this person begetting that person and that person begetting this person. It’s easy to skim over these sections; it’s easy to overlook their importance. Consider, however, that it is important to know one’s context. One could argue that there is nothing more important than knowing who you are and where you come from. It’s important to remember that our actions are a reflection of from whence we come. Yet identity is something that is often lost in mass tragedy like slavery. If you don’t know who you are, it is easy to get lost and forget your purpose.

Sometimes, when people are lost, they need a new beginning, a touchstone, someone to lead the way and inspire. April 15th is a day when the baseball community, as well as the African-American community, celebrates a young man who led the way – a man who was first to taste the bitter and the sweet that comes with a new experience of freedom. Today, (Tuesday, April 15th) is Jackie Robinson Day. So, let’s play ball – or do a little yoga that’s good for people who play unilateral sports like baseball.

Please join me for class today (Wednesday, April 15th) at 4:30 PM or at 7:15 PM on Zoom. Some of the new Zoom security protocols are definitely kicking in; so, please use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems. If you have not done so, you will need to register for the 7:15 practice. Wednesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.

If you are following the Orthodox Christian calendar and would like a recording of last week’s classes, please comment or email me.

If you are interested in combining a physical practice (yoga or weightlifting) with the Counting of the Omer, you can purchase a copy of Marcus J. Freed’s The Kabbalh Sutras: 49 Steps to Enlightenment.

yin yang design 2

A LITTLE YIN… & A LOTTA YANG

Please join me and a special guest for “Lung Health and How We Cope Right Now (viewing COVID-19 through Traditional Chinese Medicine and YIN Yoga),” a discussion on the importance of the lungs in our overall wellbeing as well as how to just friggin’ cope right now. The conversation will include a brief overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine and YIN Yoga, as well as a brief Q&A followed by a little YIN Yoga.

If you are struggling with your physical or mental health, if you’ve always been curious about “alternative” medicine, and/or if you are missing your yoga practice, this special one hour event is for you. Please join us on YouTube, TODAY, Wednesday, April 15th, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Also, mark your calendar for April 25th – the beginning of Kiss My Asana!

Speaking of Kiss My Asana…

Founded by Matthew Sanford, Mind Body Solutions helps those who have experienced trauma, loss, and disability find new ways to live by integrating both mind and body. They provide classes, workshops, and outreach programs. They also train yoga teachers and offer highly specialized training for health care professionals. This year’s yogathon is only a week long. Seven days, at the end of the month, to do yoga, share yoga, and help others.  By participating in the Kiss My Asana yogathon you join a global movement, but in a personal way. In other words, you practice yoga… for 7 days.

Are you going to be the first one Kissing My Asana?

You don’t need to wait until the end of the month, however, to consider how you might participate. Start thinking now about how you can add 5 minutes of yoga (or meditation) to your day, how you can learn something new about your practice, or even how you would teach a pose to someone close to you – or even to one of your Master Teachers/Precious Jewels.

To give you some ideas, consider that in past years my KMA offerings have included donation-based classes and (sometimes) daily postings. Check out one of my previous offerings dated April 15th (or thereabouts):

30 Poses in 30 Days (scroll down to see April 15th)

A Musical Preview (scroll down to see March 15th)

A 5-Minute Practice

5 Questions Answered by Yogis

Answers to Yogis Questions

A Poetry Practice

A Preview of the April 15th Practice

 

### AMEN, AŞĘ, SELAH ###

Comments»

1. Sandra Razieli - April 15, 2020

Aloha Myra! I wanted to go to your 4:30 class today but couldn’t figure out how to get there. What am I missing? Thanks!

>

ajoyfulpractice - April 15, 2020

Oh, sorry we missed you. Not sure what you are missing. Someone was logging in and then out at the beginning- I wonder if that was you? Did you use the link or the code? Are you on a phone or computer? Did you get a message of some kind? Phewy!!! And I keep missing your Sunday class because it ends being when I’m eating!


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