If you practice yoga, you’ve heard the word “Namaste” countless times in class. If not, you’ve probably still had a play on it pass by you on a slogan tee in Whole Foods. It gets tossed around a lot in today’s commercial yogi market, but what does it mean, really?
Namaste’s literal translation from Sanskrit is “bowing to you.” I see, I acknowledge, I honor you. A sentiment that — after an hour focusing on your breath, balance, and teacher’s guidance in class — voicing aloud to a room full of people who’s energy is palpable, can be overwhelming. In the best way.
So best that I recently submitted my packet to exit the Army Reserve so that I can pursue becoming a yoga teacher (well, it’s one reason – Trump provided countless others). Bittersweet because I’ve been wearing some version of the uniform since 2002 (counting my clueless high school cadet days), and the experiences and challenges its afforded me are one of a kind (I’ll never forget you or do you again, night land nav). But it’s time, and now I’ll be able to deepen my yoga practice through teacher training this spring.
I’m so excited because beyond the workout, the challenge of going upside down, the rhythmic flow, or good ol’ shavasana, I show up to class to channel a little bit more of that word– to see and honor you and me and the world we live in. This is the essence of the practice. And why we’re here floating on this magical blue dot through space at all, don’t you think?
Life’s full of human challenges, the little bumps on the road and mountains both. But what I love about yoga is that it puts stuff into perspective. It encourages the space to reflect and turn in, to observe without judgment what’s going through us and the actions we took as a result, to forgive and move past our fears, to let go of what’s no longer useful, to stay present in and grateful for this moment, to stretch the love and light that’s already within us, and to keep passing it on.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.” – Rumi
It’s this work that convinces me we’re all capable of achieving sustainable happiness and a sliver of the divine in our humanness. We just have to be able to see what’s already there.
Wish me luck on this journey! I plan to keep you guys posted along the way and hope to be lucky enough to guide others (you?) on the mat someday soon.