Tuesday, January 22, 2013

more on hope and humanity... and why we say "namaste"

The light in me honors the light in you.
Generally we place our palms together in front of the chest and bow our heads. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means "I bow to you." 

Why do we say this at the end of a yoga practice? 

Is it to make yoga sound "exotic" or "religious" or "hipster"?
On one hand it is a nod to yoga's roots, but personally I just love what it means. Yes, it does have a spiritual significance of honoring the divine in another person.

Having visited India twice, I love the fact that people there greet each other this way. With the gesture of palms together in front of the chest and a slight bow of the head. 

I love how the word sounds, how this one word captures all that it means. I bow to you. The light in me honors the light in you.

And I don't think it's limited to a yoga practice, but rather all-encompassing of human interactions in general.

Perhaps I'm being an optimist, because it's also true that there are many, many violent human interactions in this world. But being an optimist is not a bad thing to be. The thought of "namaste" reminds me to practice this respectful approach to life, to myself, and to others. Or at least I try.

And I'm still thinking about the words from yesterday's inauguration.

MLK Jr's I Had A Dream echoes loud and clear today:

"Hear: the doors open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos dias
in the language my mother taught me--in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips."

"One Today"
--Richard Blanco, Poet, 2013 Presidential Inauguration

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Christine Duque said...

Seriously - that inauguration speech was amazing! I particularly loved this part...

We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other...do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. "

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Christine - YES! I loved that too.

allie said...

"The light in me honors the light in you" really struck me recently...but life has become hectic and even yoga has felt stressed or rushed recently. I'm so happy to come across this reminder - this small act can foster such beauty within ourselves and how we connect with those around us, not only in our practice but in our every day (like you mention). Thank you for sharing this.

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Allie, thank you so much for reading and commenting!
Absolutely - life gets so rushed. I am constantly reminding myself to pause every now and then, and take the time to appreciate, whatever/whoever it is.

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