Yoga Shalom by Lisa Levine with Carol Krucoff, URJ Press

review by Marcus J Freed

Yoga Shalom is a charming book recently released by the URJ Press. Introduced as ‘a spiritual and physical journey, guided by a sequence of traditional Hebrew morning prayers’, it completely delivers on promise. Lisa Levine has produced a superb resource.

The brainchild of Cantor Lisa Levine, Yoga Shalom is the only book of its kind to give a comprehensive overview of the traditional Sabbath service with a selection of yoga postures and gentle teachings to inspire practitioners. A good selection of photographs accompanies the lessons, showing yoga students of all ages, making this an excellent choice for anyone looking for ways to embody Jewish prayer.

Referring to Yoga Shalom as a book is something of an understatement as it includes a 17-track CD of yoga-appropriate songs and DVD of a complete yoga class filmed on location in synagogue. There is a great range of music and I particularly enjoyed some of the later tracks which included Jeff Order’s ‘Rejoyce’ and Steve Polo’s ‘Music at the Ocean’. Each track is tied into a Hebrew prayer/yoga practice within the book, and these themes are explored on the filmed class.

Recent years have shown tremendous growth in the field of Jewish yogis looking to combine their spiritual heritage with yoga, and Levine’s book is a welcome addition to the bookshelf and yoga mat. Her co-author is Carol Krugoff who brings yogic guidance and a good choice of yoga postures depending on the student’s ability. Each chapter concludes with a piece of yogic theory.

The book is a great resource for any Jewish teacher of yoga or meditation, providing a framework to generate your own classes. On behalf of the Jewish Yoga Network, congratulations to Lisa and Carol!

Marcus J Freed is President of the Jewish Yoga Network and founder of Bibliyoga