Monday, October 25, 2010

Namaste - I bow to you

A word most of us wondered what it meant (and maybe still do), when we first heard it. Maybe it was in your first yoga class, maybe you heard it in a song, or maybe somebody greeted you with the word namaste. I use it at the end of my yoga class, and a lot of times I have new students asking me what it stands for.

Today, after visiting a good friend and borrowing some CDs to copy, I came up on this word again. This time a whole CD was devoted to this word! In its cover it had a beautiful description, and after doing some more research, I added on to the text... 

In much of the world, people do not shake hands when they meet. They may hug formally or kiss one another on the cheek, as in some parts of Europe and the Arab states. They may bow softly, eyes turned to the ground, as in Japan and China. One Hawaiian greeting consists of placing the nostril gently beside that of the person being greeted, a kind of sharing of the breath of life, or prana.

For hindus and now for many others as well, the greeting choice is namaste, the two hands pressed together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says, "namaste." In Sanskrit namas means "bow", and te means "to you". Thus namaste means "I bow to you." The hands held in union signify oneness, the bringing together of spirit and matter, or the self meeting the Self.

The namaste gesture also acts like a simple yogic asana, balancing and harmonizing our energies, keeping us centered, inwardly poised and mentally protected. It closes our aura, shielding us physically. In keeping us from becoming too externalized, thus we remain close to our intuitive nature, our more expanded being. It draws us inward for a moment.*

It is an expression of happiness. It is compromised of the activities of the hands (mudras), the mouth (mantras), and the mind (yoga). Thus namaste is equivalent to meditation that depends upon the relationship between these three. Namaste could just be casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. Namaste means a declaration of submission..

Therefore, Namaste is not just a word, but it is a feeling and expression in one's heart.


*Excerpt courtesy of Hinduism today,

Monday, October 11, 2010

The five pillars of yoga

Right exercise - mostly yoga & spin

Right breathing - going back to my breath, and various pranayama exercises.

Right thinking - trying my best, and for the most part I'm good. But... Sometimes I do slip...

Right nutrition - love to shop good food, to cook for friends and family, to eat yummy healthy food! Now if I could just stay away from Swedish candy too...

Right relaxation - I love shavasana and most days I even fit a yoga nidra in for about 30 min:) At night though... It's nice and quiet, I can get all the million things that I want done accomplished, and oooops it's way past my bedtime again!!

Goodnight all!

P.S. Do any of these need more attention in your life? If so, aim to make changes that will get you there. Example, buy more fresh fruit and vegetables when you go food shopping the next time, do 10 more minutes of yoga every day or start a meditation class.
Good luck to you, good luck to me too! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


"Now, if it so happens that you have decided to progress and if you enter the path of yoga, then a new factor intervenes. As soon as you want to progress, you immediately meet the resistance of everything that does not want to progress both in you and around you. And this resistance naturally expresses itself in all the thoughts that correspond to it." - The mother

Ok, I'm back...

I will give it another try. I will try better this time. I'm not stuck in the house because of a blizzard. It's just a new beginning. Another start. Hope for a good one. Actually, I will make it a good one! Here we go!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Here's some beautiful info about the Sanskrit character OM that I found on my last trip to the book store. Breaking down OM shows you the journey this mantra leads you on - into the subtle, spiritual realms. Enjoy!

"Find your conscious mind - Look at the top curve of the "3" shape. This is "aaa", signifying your conscious, waking mind.
Drop to your subconscious - View the lower loop of the "3" shape. This is the sound "uuu", which denotes and taps into your subconscious, a far greater space than the waking mind.
Discover your unconscious - Find the separate curved line flowing out from the junction of the main "3" shape - this is the sound "mmm" and relates to your unconscious. Then find the little half-moon above the main sympbol - this is maya, the veil of illusion that masks the deep truth of transcendental awareness turiya, which is represented by the dot, or bindu."

"The mantra OM is the universe. It is Brahman (the absolute). It is time - past, present and future. It is also that which transcends time."
Mandukya Upanishad (800-400BCE), India

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard again...

Blizzard #1 left us without power for four days... I am very grateful for my friends down the road who took us in day 2 'til we got our power back. We got to enjoy the snow & then get back into a warm, heated home with abundance of food, laughter & lots of reconnecting time. By day 4 I was going bonkers though. I woke up and tried to ground myself with my practice, which helped for most of the day, but my heart was not wholeheartedly in it. So, finally today (with blizzard #2 pounding outside) having slept in my bed, showered, cleaned up refrigerator & freezer, and cooked for the day, I once again rolled out my mat in front of the fireplace. With a few candles & incense as ambience I went through a beautiful and deep hip practice. My hips were screaming of happiness, having stored up a bunch of emotions and as we say in yoga "the issues are in the tissues". Once in pigeon, I could feel all the stress that had piled up pour out my hips. So amazingly delicious! My heart was once again smiling! I ended todays practice with a beautiful chant that made my whole body vibrate in exhilaration:)
Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti
(May all beings everywhere be happy and free. Peace.)

Peace to you. Peace to me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Scattered thoughts...

I've been thinking about this blog all day...We haven't had power since early this morning (blizzard with over 2ft of snow!) and I've had plenty of time to dream, read, think, surf the web, and brainstorm... In the end my body started signaling me to move, do something, act. So, in the midst of the turmoil that's called our family room, I rolled out my mat in front of the fireplace. Surrounded by kids, husband, dog, air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, books, boardgames, art supplies, art projects, steaming cups of tea & sweet smelling soy candles my body was rejoicing. My mind was focused, my breath slow & deep, and my heart smiling. My practice was grounding me once again. An hour later, I looked up with a decision that felt right... I'm on the right road. Right now. Right here. In my family room while the blizzard has finally ceased.