Lessons From the Mat
Have you ever wondered why we say “Namaste” at the end of every class? Or what the big deal is about “Om”?
Both are very regular parts of a typical yoga class and both have deep roots in the practice of yoga.
Namaste can be a form of greeting, thanks, or parting ways. It is a form of homage and respect- both to ourselves and those we greet with the term.
We say Namaste at the end of a yoga class for many reasons- one being that it recognizes the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. Carry this into your day, seeing the divine light in everyone you meet. You will find that in seeing everyone as part of the divine, there becomes less conflict, less loneliness, and more happiness! Who doesn’t want that?!?
OM is a hard concept to put into a short message because there is so much depth to the meaning, but at the core it is about connection. Connection between the body/mind/spirit, connection between the past/present/future, connection between creation/stability/destruction.
From the Manduka, “Whatsoever has existed, whatsoever exists, and whatsoever shall exist hereafter, is OM. And whatsoever transcends past, present, and future, that also is OM.”
We chant OM at the beginning and/or end of a yoga class to unify ourselves as a group, to center ourselves, to connect to our practice both on the mat and off, and to still our minds.
Now you know!