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It’s All Tov April 2, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.
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“And God said, ‘There will be light,’ and there was light.

 

And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.”

 

– Beresh’t / Genesis 1:3-4

Tov is a Hebrew word that means “good;” however, as we find in the beginning of the Torah (also the Christian Old Testament), God defines something as “good” when it is useful and serving its purpose. In our physical practice of yoga, regardless of the style or tradition, we want every pose to be “good” in this way. So, when I say that there’s some “special goodness coming your way,” it means it’s time for another “First Friday Night Special!”

Specifically, I am hosting a special virtual class tonight, Friday, April 2nd, 7:15 PM – 8:20 PM (CST). This practice will focus on a set of poses that are symbolically connected, but not physically linked. (In other words, this will not be a vinyāsa practice.) It will be a non-denominational practice, but will involve religious stories and symbolism. It is open to all.

This year, Good Friday in the Western Christian tradition falls towards the end of Passover (in the Jewish tradition). In the Jewish tradition, it is also “six days of the Omer” – meaning that some people are focused on “Bonding in Love/Lovingkindness” – and these connected traditions and stories are intended to be stories of God’s love and power.

The rituals related to these observations emphasize a specific order of events and how a story is told through the order of events. In the case of Passover, the story of Exodus is told through the symbolic elements of the Passover Seder. The Seder (which means “order” or “arrangement”) moves through 15 steps, including “The Four Questions” that lead to the telling of the story. It’s a ritual pilgrimage wrapped in a dinner party wrapped in a children’s bedtime story disguised as a tradition.

For Good Friday, many Christians move through the Stations of the Cross, a visual pilgrimage of Jesus’ last moments. The earliest “Way of the Cross” or “Way of Sorrows” artwork and the Scriptural Way of the Cross (introduced by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991 and approved by Pope Benedict in 2007) depict 14 scenes or “steps,” ending with Jesus being laid in the tomb. The Resurrection is often considered to be the 15th Station of the Cross. (NOTE: The Resurrection is the 14th Station according to the “New Way of the Cross” in the Philippines; however, this version is different from the previous mentioned versions.) The art is meant to mirror Via Dolorosa (the “Way of Sorrow/Pain”) in Jerusalem, the actual path Jesus would have taken to Mount Calvary. So, when people “move through the Stations of the Cross” it is a ritual pilgrimage wrapped in a walking tour wrapped in a children’s picture book disguised as traditional art.

The religious rituals above traditionally involve prayers that will not be part of the practice. However, if you are religious and observing Good Friday or Passover (or Counting the Omer), you will have an opportunity to pray as you feel is appropriate. If you are not religious and/or are not familiar with the stories, think of this as a history lesson wrapped up in a physical yoga practice.

“And God saw that it was good.”

 

– Words that appear 7 times in the Creation story found in Bereishit /Genesis

 

Please join me tonight (Friday, April 2nd) at 7:15 PM for a “First Friday Night Special” virtual yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below.

Friday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.

[NOTE: This is a mostly Good Friday playlist and it is very similar to what I have used in the past for a very different style of practice. Feel free to use one of the playlists that are mostly Passover (from 2020 or 2021); use one of the “First Friday Night Special” playlists from previous months; or, of course, practice without music.]

This practice is accessible and open to all. It will include holding a series of poses and you may need something to take notes (but there is no “guided journaling” for this practice).

Prop wise, it will be handy to have ALL your props. Specifically, the following will be useful: a large pillow or cushion (or two); a blanket or towel; a couple of blocks or books; and extra layers (as your body may cool down during this practice).

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

Here’s a very special guest post about last year’s Good Friday and my own 2020 Good Friday post.

 

### MANY BLESSINGS (come from being connected through loving-kindness) ###