Friday, April 15, 2011

N is for Namaste



At the end of yoga class, we usually place our hands together in prayer position in front of the heart, bow to one another and say Namaste. But what does Namaste mean anyway?

Well, surprise surprise, it means “I bow to you." When saying the word and bowing, what we are really doing is reducing our own ego in the presence of another person. Outside of a yoga class, how often do we do that??

Of course we won't walk around the office or on the street greeting each other this way (as they do in India) but perhaps once or twice a day, we can make this gesture in our minds when dealing with someone else. It's just one simple way of reminding us of the humanity of other people, especially the ones we find to be difficult!

8 comments:

  1. Melissa, I LOVE your name! =) And funny that you'd write about yoga. I LOVE yoga too. In fact, I do yoga every day after my run. Thank you for posting this. Beautiful.

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  2. If more people took the time to "bow" in their heads, I think the world would be a better place. In my job (my "not writing" job) I have to do this about 100 to 1000 times a day. I work in an art studio with teenagers, talk about inflated egos! Great post!

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  3. This would be a great lesson for our Washington politicians - maybe if they did this the country would be a better place!

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  4. Thanks everyone! Melissa C - LOVE your name too! I don't always post about yoga, but I am on jury duty this week and into next - a very serious and long trial - so it feels helpful to post something uplifting and the yoga aspect of my life provides that. Glad you enjoyed!
    Rebecca, I salute you!

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  5. I'd heard Namaste means: the light in me greets the light in you. Oh well, whatever, it is a lovely word. Nice to "meet" you on this a-z challenge.
    Karen

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  6. Hi Karen - I'm glad you brought up that point - there is the "meaning" of the word in terms of translatation, and then there is the larger meaning or intention behind the words and the action of bowing to another. People expand that greater intention in lots of different ways such as the one you have heard, but I've heard many others too. Namah in Sankskrit is bow, or obedience, and te is you - that's how we get "I bow to you." But the greater intention behind Namaste is seeing the humanity in others, or, as you say, "seeing the light" in other human beings

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  7. Saying hello from the A-Z! Great post!

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  8. My daughter is a yoga instructor so I know exactly what you mean. If you're interested, her blog is:

    http://travelsthroughbreathing.blogspot.com/

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