Namaste A Yoga Meditation

When I first took up yoga nearly 20 years ago, I was transfixed upon the meaning behind a word I had never heard prior; Namaste.  We are all spiritual beings, filled with the anima, the soul and breath of life that all animals are filled up with.   In the scurry to get projects completed, the car serviced, the kids off to school, pets to the vet, the home cleaned, and figure out how to carve time out to work on our frayed nerves, work out, work in and work on ourselves this is a great word to meditate upon. 

The meaning behind the word Namaste is that the divine in me acknowledges, sees, the divine in you.  When I say Namaste, I am acknowledging your spiritually divine spark, your holiness.  And amid all this chaos, you do have this spark!  The Indian people I worked with used the word as a greeting and a departure. Hello sure pales in comparison. 

I love yoga, and there are many forms, for it’s balancing and healing of the entire system.  Regardless of where you plan to practice, I encourage you to get a Manduka yoga mat.  They are the best, thickest for the knees and joints, easy to clean and last forever.  And now they come in colours!

Types of yoga really run the gamut from Flow or power yoga where you get your heart rate up a bit and flow from one position to the next swiftly, to Iyengar and Anusara where the pace is slow and methodical with high importance placed upon the body structure, stacking the bones and keeping a watchful eye on alignment.  My first teachers were Baron Baptiste,  Iyengar and Vinyasa trained so form was taught.

At the Y, I have become more involved and aware of Iyengar.  At first I felt it was too slow but now I get it.  And the man’s story is fascinating, sickly as a child, he was sent to live with monks in hopes he would find healing.  I highly recommend reading his book, Light On Yoga which is considered the bible of yoga. Here you learn to perfect your form and allow for the healing this brings to your practice.  There is also rope yoga and I am thankful the YMCA offers this!  I have never had such release in my lower back.

Another fabulous book is Baron’s 40 days to Personal Revolution which has great mediation instructions, poses, and deep inspiring thoughts.

Yoga not only tonifies the body, tendons and internal organs but works on the mind.  In yoga, we call it monkey mind, where our thoughts are all over the place.  We learn calm, to live in the parasympathetic responses in our nervous system, the rest and digest.  In our fast-paced world, many of us just stay on a sympathetic nervous system response and wear our systems out.  Think Coronaries.  So we need more calm in our lives.  As we calm, we think clearer.  Yoga helps us grow in compassion not only for others but also for ourselves as we see from day to day our body may be different, balance, stretch or move differently.  I learned which was my stronger side through yoga as well as the myriad ways my life is imbalanced in the day to day life, such as what fingers I use to pull my pants up, or which is my pot scrubbing hand and which is my pot holding hand?  Switch things up, create even strength and balance within yourself.

Anger – One time at work, where we had outsourced to India, I was very frustrated as things were not going well at all.  These folks were put into place with very little learning on something very complicated and add to it the language barrier.  After the run around and feeling my blood boil, I ended my chat session with this exceedingly unhelpful person with ‘Namste’.  In the depth and bile of my anger over not getting something done which should have taken 1 afternoon before but now had required 35 days, I was just done talking.  I had to stop myself and breath.  It would do no good to spew hatred at the machine that put all this in place. Perhaps it wasn’t this individuals fault, who knows their personal story right?  So I just took a slow breath, let it all go and said Namaste.  I was heading my finger on the button to then end the chat session when a message came back to ‘hold on one moment more, I think I can fix this for you.’  And so it was done not in anger, not in pushing my agenda, but simply in letting it go as I acknowledged the holy, the seat of the divine in another very flawed individual as I am equally flawed too.  I ended up after this getting a whole lot of work done faster.  And I shared with my US team what Namaste means as I shared my personal story.  Unfairness, laying off the wrong person, car accidents, loan interest rates going up happen.  Life happens.  The point of it all is to acknowledge the divine in everything which surrounds you.  There you find peace and gain enlightenment.  Namaste.

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