Shemos - Proud Jew to Oppressed Slave
Shemos is the first parsha in Book II, Exodus, of the Torah. The Children of Israel, who came with Jacob to Egypt declined from a proud people, with each person’s own individuality, to bondage after all of Joseph’s brothers died. Over the years decrees were put in place that started with taxes and grew more onerous. If you could not pay off your tax debt, you became a slave to work off your debt. The slave work was oppressive. It was not work that you could be proud of doing, it was not work in which you Homcould see any accomplishment. The parsha takes us from the proud Jew to the oppressed slave.
Our yoga pose will is the Mountain Pose starting with an upright position to represent the Jews who came into Egypt. Then we will Swan Dive down to signify the deep and intense decline into bondage with a Deep Forward Bend, where we find the Jews at the end of the parsha.