Monday, February 25, 2008

Namaste'

I have been out of the practice of yoga (fitness yoga) since I moved to Kansas. However, I have taught my kids various poses and we practice them once or twice a week either as we start the day or before bed or to just to settle down and relax. They are getting pretty good actually. We sniff when we do downward facing dog (down dog), howl when we do upward facing dog (up dog). We do fishy noises while in the fish pose and oh, dead bug is their favorite.
At the end of our practicing, we sit in a butterfly pose, flap our wings (legs) and then take our hands to our hearts, bow to one another and say, "God Bless You". I love hearing my kids say God Bless You. A divine blessing from the mouths of children.
I have not ever taught them "namasté. Not sure why, I know it is just a similar -divine blessing- spoken as a greeting, parting phrase or gesture of respect. I'm sure my hesitation stems from the fact that this is primarily of Hindu origin, and I... well, I am not Hindu.
It literally means, "I bow to you." I have heard or read many different variations of meaning. "The divine peace in me greets the divine peace in you", "I salute the God within you", "That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you", "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me."
I love this concept of passing the peace regularly and often in community. It is respectful of others and a beautiful sign of hospitality.
My favorite interpretation is, "The Light in me honors to the Light in you."
When I first heard this, I immediately thought of 1 John 1:7 (one of Creighton's favorite verses). "If we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin."
We are in the light - together. Together with each other and together with Christ in the light of God's presence. A lovely picture of true community.
The reason I am even spending time on this is because in the mail today, I received the yoga for kids videos I recently ordered. We played one tonight and had such a ball. The kids love to do yoga.
However, at the end, the instructor told the children to bow to one another and say, "Namasté". So my kids did. And then they asked me what Namasté means.

I was a little nervous about the yoga lady teaching my kids a Hindu blessing. I'm too uptight sometimes!! But I played it cool and told them it was just another way to say a blessing to someone. So we bowed to one another and said, "God Bless You." And Canon bowed to everyone and said, "God Bless You". And Cosmo bowed and said, "Shesh-you." And I completely got over myself when Whitby (I kid you not) bowed to the poodles and blessed them, "Haveaniceday!"

1 comment:

Steven and Elizabeth Schindler said...

I can't tell you how many times I've read this post now, and it continues to be a blessing to me every time. :)