What is the most relaxed religion
by Benjamin Hammer
"Breathe in, breathe out, close your eyes!" Dalia Atzmon shows how it's done and 20 Jewish students from North Rhine-Westphalia do the same. You sit cross-legged in a hall of the Aachen synagogue and practice yoga. Atzmon came to Germany from Israel twelve years ago
country. The 64-year-old painter teaches Far Eastern relaxation in her free time.
technology. The reference to Judaism
she writes: "In yoga as well as in our religion we strive for enlightenment," and she points to parallels to Jewish mysticism. But yoga can only complement Judaism and not replace it: "It's a way of life, not a religion."
"Watch your breathing," Atzmon says to the students. You came to Aachen last weekend at the invitation of the Jewish Student Union. "You have to blow your worries out and then breathe in new life force." Atzmon begins to hum, "Ommm", and because it's yoga in the synagogue, she goes "Ommm, Scha-
lom «from it. "You need to relax," she says. Most relaxed of all
The community rabbi Jaron Engelmayer watches the group. At 31 he could almost pass as one of the students. "Working with young people is absolutely fundamental," says Engelmayer. "They are our future." Two and a half years ago he therefore tried to revitalize the Jewish Student Union in Aachen - with success. Today the group has 20 active members. However, the rabbi is more critical of the connection between Judaism and yoga. "In yoga you basically revolve around yourself. But in Judaism everything revolves around God." Engelmayer advises that comparisons between religion and yoga should only be made with the help of a rabbi. A look on the Internet shows why the rabbi is skeptical. There are not only countless commercial providers of Kabbalah courses there. There are also some who allude specifically to the connection between yoga and Judaism. Engelmayer believes that this is an unauthorized mixture
The rabbi also sees something in common: for both of them, calm is an important force. "In Judaism, the Shabbat is our island of relaxation," says Engelmayer. The Aachen students therefore also called their seminar “looking forward to something relaxed”. The yoga exercise was a good haven of peace, says participant Alexandra Linden, who helped organize the weekend. In addition to meditation, a Kabbalat Shabbat and various courses, for example on the subject of conflict resolution, were on the program. Here, too, Dalia Atzmon believes in the power of yoga. “This is how you get your inner peace. If we are happy with ourselves, then there will be no conflicts, «she says - with a smile.
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