Yom Kippur Yoga (when you’re standing all day)

“Yes, one time my daughter passed out.” I was talking with a client about Yom Kippur and asked her if her family has ever had physical challenges during the service. The Jewish day of atonement involves standing for long periods of time, so people are bound to faint. Or, as another client put it, “everybody hits the deck.”

I have several clients who will be attending synagogue, and we spent some time during our sessions coming up with a practice they can do between their morning and afternoon services.

Below is a short sequence designed to help those who are participating in Yom Kippur, or who otherwise stand a lot. In addition, my Onward Facing Yoga app has a sequence called “I’ve Been Standing All Day” for anybody who’s been up for a long time and needs to relieve their sore legs. It’s available on iPhone or iPad.

To everybody: enjoy the practice. To my Jewish friends: have an easy fast.

Yom Kippur Sequence

Viparita Karini (or legs up the wall)


When your feet are up, open and close your toes slowly, with your breath. You can also take your ankles around in slow circles. Hold pose 1-5 minutes.

Supta Padangushtasana 1 with hips on bolster


Hold each side 1-3 minutes.

Vajrasana (toes curled under)


Hold 30-60 seconds.

Virasana (hero’s pose)


Hold 1-3 minutes.

Yin Anjaliasana (relaxed lunge)


Hold 15-45 seconds per side.

Parivrtta Malasana (squat twists)

On inhale, lengthen your belly, on exhale, twist to one side, reaching your arm out. Alternate sides 5-10x.

Supta Matsyendrasana (supine twist)


Hold 1-3 minutes per side.

Supta Padangushtasana 3


Hold 1-3 minutes per side.

Setu Bandasana (bridge pose)


Hold 1-2 minutes.

Featured Image: Maurycy Gottlieb – Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur