Okay, we’ve got to talk about this whole ‘Namaste’ yogi thing. Let me start with the story that inspired this journal entry.
Imagine you’re going to a yoga class. Maybe you’re looking for a relaxing break from the stresses of the day, maybe you’re working on strength/flexibility, maybe you were actually looking for the yogurt shop and got lost. Whatever the reason, you find yourself walking through the parking lot towards a yoga facility, peacefully minding your own business, when SUDDENLY…
VROOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HONK HONK!!! Someone screaming get the #^@%*& outta the way!!! … middle fingers flying towards you…
Yes, this has happened to Catherine right outside the doors of a yoga studio.
And here’s the best part….
She found that “peace seeker” sitting two mats away in class acting all “zen” with their hands folded chanting “Namaste”. <<< I know many of you can sympathize, and even Catherine, herself, has been guilty of this behavior… (you’re all human).
SO… If YOU are that person who forgets to take the lessons of zen with you once you leave that room, this (loving) message is specifically for you.
- The word “Namaste” in and of itself is not magical. It doesn’t translate into some crazy meaning like “may the gods love and bless your soul… the divine honors and recognizes you blah blah blah”. It doesn’t open and shut magical doors. Nope, not even close – and therefore, does not make you more spiritually evolved than the person next to you who doesn’t happen to be wearing brand name yoga pants. It literally translates to, “I bow to you.” Having said that, it does tend to be used as a sign of respect, which leads me to the next point…
- Though the actual use differs by region, the general use is a term of respect. Respect in the sense of acknowledgement – acknowledgement as in “I am aware of you. I see you. And I respect you.” This respect does not stop the moment you are no longer engaged directly with each other (say, after class walking through the parking lot to get to your car). This acknowledgement is more than having a lunch date and acknowledging that you hear your partner’s words while you’re checking your Facebook feed. BUT, if you are going to attach magical intent to the word then read on…
- Attach the intent and commit to it. Remember, it is not the word itself that holds the power to change, but the pureness of the intent behind it. The word is only a tool used by those who need it. For example, if you are using it express gratitude… then express gratitude… and mean it… not only to your yoga instructor, but to the person who held the elevator for you or whatever force dropped a dollar bill on the sidewalk for you as you were walking your dog… etc. THIS is the lesson you should be focusing on whenever you bring your hands together and allow this word to wisp beyond your lips.
Having said that, I will tell you a secret about the gesture.
The gesture is magical (for better use of the term) as in… when you are aware of your energy flow and how it moves with the flow of other people, objects, etc, you will actually feel a guiding force encouraging your body into positions and (when the session is done) bringing your hands to gesture a close – it would be the same gesture you learn in yoga class at the same time you’re faithfully reciting ‘Namaste’.
For those who seek to practice yoga for the purpose of mind/body connection, I suggest that you focus more on the mind relaxation and energy awareness portions than the poses. The body movements, believe it or not, will come on its own. You’ll actually feel your body being pushed and pulled (or rather, gently guided) into the appropriate position for you in the moment. THIS is the journey of yoga.
Once you feel this energy, you will be less likely to “leave it in the room” and more likely to carry the progress with you throughout the day.
And with that… I close out in true gratitude and positive energy for you all,
Namaste, yes, namaste mother#^@%*&s.
– Love and light 460
PS. The weird zen/non-zen persona can manifest anywhere… such as in line at a grocery store or at your kid’s school function, or around the church scene. The moral of the story is: It’s not just being aware of behavior in front of people you feel accountable to, it’s making yourself accountable and implementing it every moment of your life.