Who is Diane Bloomfield?
Diane Bloomfield is the creator of Torah Yoga ®. Her first book, Torah Yoga, is published by Wiley (Jossey-Bass) in both softcover and e-book formats. Her new book, Playing with Fire, is due to come out later in 2023, and will also be available in these formats.
Diane has taught throughout Israel, Western Europe, and North America. She has lived in Jerusalem since 1984 and also spends time each year with her family in America.
Diane has spent many years learning and teaching Torah and Chassidut, both in yeshivas and privately. Her studies focus on the teachings of Chassidic Rebbe Sfat Emet, the visionary first Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Kook, the Maharal, the Piaseczner, and others.
Diane currently studies in Jerusalem regularly with Rav Ben Yishai, Rabbanit Chagit Elran, and Rav and Scribe Dov Laimon. She teaches weekly online Torah Yoga and Torah from Jerusalem classes in English. She also teaches weekly a local Shabbat Shiur in English, and gives Divrei Torah at local Shabbat services in Hebrew. In the past, she taught the Torah Yoga Corner on Israel National Radio, a series of 7-minute Torah Yoga sessions.
Diane first studied Kripalu yoga and yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Institute in Massachusetts. She then practiced Bikram's yoga for over a decade, and became a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She is now a certified Iyengar yoga instructor in Hebrew (or English) here in Israel, and continues studying with senior Iyengar instructors.
The Torah Yoga ® curriculum has been under development since 1990. Diane teaches regularly at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.
Why Did She Create Torah Yoga?
Diane says: "It was a teaching by the Chassidic master Sfat Emet that helped me to understand how yoga deepens and enlivens my connection to Torah....
Sfat Emet teaches that the Torah is black fire written on white fire. One way to understand this is that the black fire is the spoken letters of the Torah, and the white fire is the silent breath between and around them....
I spent many years speaking the black fire letters of traditional Torah study. I immersed myself fully, and did not want to be anywhere else. However, in time, from inside the letters, I could no longer see the words, or understand their meaning clearly. My whole being longed to move into quiet space....
In my search for breathing space, I began to study yoga, which moved me into the white fire. From there, the black fire became clearer and more meaningful again. And so, Torah Yoga ® was born...."