If you have been to a yoga class, you’ve noticed the teacher ending class with the term “namaste”. This gesture is a thank you or ‘I bow to you’. Many people in the Indian culture use this gesture throughout their daily lives as a way of acknowledging each other. The term ‘namaste’ literally means the light inside of my soul recognizes the light inside of your soul. This recognition is a peaceful respect to offer to yourself and other people who practice yoga in your class as well as the yoga instructor.
The gesture of ‘namaste’ can be performed by bringing your palms together right at your heart center. This hand position is known as prayer pose or angelic mudra. As you witness the light beings around you, you bow down as an additional symbol of respect. Prayer pose is a gentle way of offering yourself to the Divine love that exists within all of us. Another position for the hands can be in front of your third eye chakra. Then you slowly slide the hands down to the heart center.
This symbol of respect is one of the most important parts of the yoga practice. Yoga is about embracing yourself and your entire living being. The word namaste is an offering of respect for yourself and the other light beings who practice with you. We all share each other’s energies while enduring a yoga class. As much as yoga is the individual’s experience, we naturally come together as a collective. The term ‘namaste’ brings the awareness of the individual’s experience into the collective experience of all individuals.
This bond is then created out of an ego-less communication and instead it is pure respect and acceptance of one another. The word ‘namaste’ creates this timeless experience where you can literally feel a union bond with another individual’s soul. A collective respect is built within this sacred space of recognition. A sacred space of connection between two light beings. Yoga is a very spiritual practice.
Hinduism and Buddhism religions may have begun the art of yoga through the source of religion. Throughout the thousands of centuries that yoga has been around, the evolution of yoga has changed into more of a spiritual rather than religious practice. The beauty of yoga is that you might end up taking a class with four or five different people with different religions. This spiritual practice creates a sacred union between any religion or belief. As Ziggy Marley sings, “Love is my religion” and I find this very true for the art of yoga. Self love and self respect is the spiritual practice. Notice, as we all come together as one under the recognition of each other’s existence.