It would seem you can’t hear the word yoga without hearing the word Namaste. However, I never finish the class with Namaste. Instead, I may offer a word of encouragement or thank my students for showing up to practice with me. No one has ever asked me why but I am sure they have been curious seeing how it is the standard way to end a yoga class for most.
What does Namaste mean? One of the most common definitions for Namaste is “the light in me honors the light in you.” Which is lovely, but honestly, the word has never resonated with me from the beginning of my yoga journey. The first couple of classes I made an effort to add the word at the end of class because it is just a word. But it felt fake to me so I stopped using it in class and haven’t since. I have no problems with my students using it or other teachers using the word if it resonates with them. I simply choose not too. I’m not going to do something simply because it’s the expected norm. I’ve always done things my own way and maybe it’s my way of being a bit of a yogi rebel. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that I’m going to try my best to live as authentically as I can and be true to myself and to my students on and off the mat.
The moral of the story isn’t so much about the use of the word Namaste but rather it’s about finding your own path, doing your own thing and creating your own way. Staying true to yourself regardless of what others around you are doing, whether it’s a word, a pose or a common belief or philosophy. Be BRAVELY YOU, without hesitation or regret!
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