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Why We Say “Namaste” in Yoga Classes and Some Alternatives

by Nina West Meets East by Arvind RamanathanRichard Rosen emailed me after he read my post “Namaste” and the Anjali Mudra, in which I discussed among other things, how to use and pronounce “namaste” as well as what it meant, located partly on information on went from his volume Yoga FAQ. He started out by saying I was correct in the way I recommended declaring “namaste.” Whew! That was a relief. You’re correct about the inflection being more like nuh-muh-stay. That’s because the first two a’s are short and so stressed like “uh”( say the “a”’s in “America” ). And yes, final “e” is enunciated like the “ay” in “stay”( am telling the “a” in “gate” ). Then he went on to answer the question that I was left with after predicting his section on “namaste” in his diary, which was why do some teaches say this in yoga years? I liked his explanation so I asked him if I could share it with you. Here’s what he wrote: It’s certainly not much of a mystery why we point categorizes with namaste. Like much of what we do in modern Western yoga, the Sanskrit reassures us that we’re actually practising yoga, when in fact countless classes are simply workout exercisings( though there’s nothing bad with that) with exclusively the most doubtful connections to the lore. Similarly that’s why countless categories begin and end with OM, or the Patanjali invocation, or why countless modern asanas, like the divides( aka Hanumanasana ), are given Sanskrit words. These happenings tend to “yoga-cize” the class, while at most we’re rehearsing what is adequately be called Modern Western Exercise-influenced Asana. I think that if your class includes simply asanas( and not meditation, breather patterns, and/ or philosophy) the concepts of reminding parties that they are taking a yoga class and not only doing a simple exercising is forcing one. But Richard then surprised me by making some recommendations for other ways to end a yoga class: I think it’s possibly best to cease the class with a simple “Thanks for coming, I genuinely regard your spirit, ” or if you have a tolerable Porky Pig imitation, “T-T-T-That’s all, folks.” If you want to use Sanskrit, which is a involved but beautiful word, and that acknowledges( as we should) yoga’s Indian roots, I recommend, “shanti, shanti, shanti-hee, ” which in English can be rendered as the “peace which passeth understanding.” A reason why you might want to consider an alternative to “namaste” is that some people from India living in the West find the practice of saying “namaste” at the end of a yoga class instead quirky. For lesson, a book aimed me to this NPR article A Ga. School Proscription The Greeting ‘Namaste.’ Do They Know What It Intends ?, which I recommend reading. The writer, Deepak Singh, described how he exploited the word growing up to planned “hello” and said that where reference is hears Westerners use the word he finds it “funny and cute”: I got the being of the opinion that they didn’t think of it just as a accost, but it had a spiritual connotation — a Hindu mantra, a see recite, a yoga salutation. Expending namaste in India never fixed “i m feeling” spiritual in any way. Even in the yoga classifies I took in India, the schoolteachers never delivered a namaste.And your best friend Arvind Ramanathan–who started the original cartoon for us above–goes on to say: Parties say Namaste when they just meet you, and not usually not while leaving. It would be like an English orator going to some class in India where the professor dissolves the class with people saying ‘greetings’ or’ hello’. That would be so strange Ha Ha.Thank you for predicting this blog, y’all! I certainly acknowledge your presence.Shanti shanti shanti Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email deg Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook and Twitter deg To line-up Yoga for Healthy Aging: A Guide to Lifelong Well-Being, go to Amazon, Shambhala, Indie Bound or your neighbourhood bookstore.For informed about Nina’s upcoming bible signals and additional activities, watch Nina’s Workshops, Book Signings, and Books .

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