Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Namaste All Day

I’ve done yoga for many years. Then a few years ago I became a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. That training was a highlight of my life and a perfect intersection with my long-term recovery: Body. Mind.  
Spirit. Heart.

As you know, there’s specialized vocabulary in yoga—the postures or “asanas” have Sanskrit names and there is also the language of yogic philosophy: the Yamas, Niyamas, Gunas etc.—these concepts that guide behavior, thinking etc.

The Sanskrit word that many folks know—in yoga or out --is the traditional yoga salutation: Namaste, which translates into “my soul recognizes and bows to the divinity in yours.”
You say Namaste at the start of class, and at the end to thank your teacher, and you say it to your classmates as well. It’s also, you know this, used in a kind of joking way out in the world, to say “let’s pretend to be spiritual”.

But what if we weren’t pretending? What if we brought Namaste into the whole day? I have tried this and though it seems like it should be easy—or the right thing for a yogi—it’s harder than it sounds. But I want to get there. I want to get to:

Namaste All Day.

If you think about it, it is a kind of recovery practice: seeing the other person without judgement; practicing acceptance; and kind of saying to yourself, “that person has a Higher Power too.”

Like me, I’m sure that you have had that experience—when you have silently judged someone in your meeting because of what they said, how they spoke, or what they wore—and then later, when your heard their story, you thought, “Oh, just like me”. 

Saying namaste in the moment allows a faster self-correction, and a reminder that “my soul bows to the divinity of yours.”