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What is Yoga?
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke” or “to unite”. We practice yoga to unite the body, breath, mind, and heart. We can also see it as tying the strands of the mind together to create an intention.
Yoga, in Sanskrit, means to completely know yourself and to be at peace in yourself. It is not possible to define this peace except to say it is freedom from all suffering, freedom from doubt and freedom from confusion. A natural blessedness unfolds in you as you feel this peace and you increasingly realize this as the core essence of your life. This realization is called yoga: a clear knowledge of the oneness of your self with the source of all life. –
Throughout history, yogic techniques have been practiced in both the East and West, so it would be an error to consider yoga an “Eastern import.” In fact, yoga, with its powerful techniques for creating a sense of inner peace, harmony, and clarity of mind, is absolutely relevant to the modern world–both East and West. Given the increasing pace and conflict present in modern life, with all its resulting stress, one could say that yoga has become an essential tool for survival, as well as for expanding the creativity and happiness in our lives.
So, what does Namaste mean anyway?
Most Yoga Classes conclude every practice by saying “Namaste”, and I’ve always wanted to know what it really means.
The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart center. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
Definition of Namaste
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
How to make the Namaste gesture
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart centre, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.
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