Below is my yoga teaching fairytale of the weekend. Enjoy!
“Tell me about OM,” my yoga student said after class.
I took a deep breath. We – yoga teachers, that is – say these words so often that sometimes we forget their simple potency, their meaning.
“Great question,” I responded. “OM, as I was taught it, is the universal sound. It can mean everything and it can mean nothing. I include it at the end of classes, yoga privates, and my own practice, because it is a seal. We open up a practice with the sound of OM as a way of leaving everything that happened before we begin the practice – the chaos, the mundane, whatever – outside the practice, secluding the practice off as a sacred space where we can recharge. I believe in closing the practice with the sound of OM because it seals all that we do in one hour in, setting it apart. Make sense?”
“Yes. Now, tell me about Namaste.”
I take a deep breath. “In Sanskrit, Namaste translates to…” I backtrack. “There are so few direct translations from Sanskrit to English so Namaste can be interpreted as ‘The Light in me honors and appreciates the Light in You.’ It means thank you. For the purpose of what we just did, Namaste means, ‘The Teacher in me honors and appreciates the Teacher in you.’ While we have this time together once a week where I am teaching you yoga, the rest of the week you are your own teacher. It’s nice to end the practice with an acknowledgment of that, of what’s to come. Make sense?”
written from bed