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On the Eve of September 8th. By Aviva Black

On the eve of September 8th, Jews around the world celebrated Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the year 5771. The High Holidays (for most, the days including and between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement), is both a period of communal celebration and of personal reflection. In its essence, this truly awesome period carves out time and space for contemplation in order to respectfully bring issues to rest while committing oneself to living to one’s fullest potential in the coming year. The practice of pausing, reflecting and acting upon those insights, is inherent in many faiths and traditions and is integral to the tenets of yoga. As we move through the asana practice time and again, we practice being present and steady with our breath and mind, opening to possibility and connecting to what is good and meaningful within us. It is from this place that we set and act upon our intentions as we extend ourselves to others. Be generous to yourself. Take some time out in the next couple of weeks to identify what you cherish and need to commit to being the best of who you are. Here are some questions from a Jewish ritual guide that I’ve found useful in building my intentions for the coming year:

* Praise: What wonders and miracles, both large and small, cause you to give praise this year?

* Thanks: What opportunities, relationships, gifts, ideas, even setbacks make you thankful this year?

* Requests: What do you need real help in this year? Love, health, energy, stability, change, finding meaning?

* Forgiveness: What are you willing to pardon others for this year?What promises can you offer and make good on?

I’d love to hear about your experience with this exercise or others that you’ve found useful. Email me at

Aviva Black teaches a mixed level class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 – 1pm at YogaKula Berkeley.

Click here to register for Aviva’s class


Our body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening.

Treat it with care.


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