Today, I’m bringing #YogaMonday back to the blog with a five-week series entitled #Yogaat50 Lessons. Each week, I will share a lesson I learned through my yoga practice and service as a yoga teacher.
Here’s LESSON 1: Namaste helps me honor and celebrate my true identity and connection to others from the inside out. Guess where I took my first yoga class? Aboard a cruise down the Nile River during an African American studies trip with Kemetian scholar Tony Browder in 1995. I was 30 and interested in the deep breathing and stretching benefits of yoga for support with my running practice. When I returned home from my trip, I found a yoga teacher who provided one-on-one instruction in my home. Her name was Gloria. She taught me how to breathe deeply and do poses that eased the tension and tightness in my hamstrings, hips, legs, and lower back. She explained the meaning of Namaste and showed me how to chant it at the end of each session. Over the past 20 years, my home practice and service to others as a yoga teacher has deepened my understanding of Namaste. It has become a sacred self-care ritual that reminds me to to look within, accept, and celebrate my true identity as a spiritual being living a human experience with strengths and weaknesses. Saying Namaste also taught me to appreciate and value the true identity of everyone and everything in the universe, and our bond of oneness. What does saying Namaste mean to you?