Why We Close Our Yoga Practice With Namaste

Brad Korpalski
Why We Close Our Yoga Practice With Namaste

Whether it’s behind the wheel of our car, at work, dealing with bureaucratic drudgery, or (pick a scenario)—there are often portions of life that feel like a burden and an injustice—a part of life that doesn't seem…divine.

“How could this be happening to ME” is the oft-repeated expression. These moments feel frustrating, incongruent with our idea of perfection; unfair, or that we don’t feel like “I deserve this.” To the vast majority of us, these thoughts and feelings occur regularly.  In fact, they probably occur so regularly we don’t even realize they’re happening.

Finding Faith in Unpleasant Situations

They take the form of subtle, judgmental thought patterns (towards self and other), controlling behaviors, mental and physical anguish, goal-oriented striving -- basically anything that struggles against life and denies the gift of now. Fully accepting and appreciating the not-so-nice-moments of our lives is not easy.  For f*ck’s sake is it not easy.

I find, to sense the divine, to feel the perfection in all things, necessitates a “something…” After all, how can we justify the tragedies of our world, the traumas in our personal lives? Surely those don’t belong here?

To bridge the gap between the incredible challenge we’re navigating RIGHT NOW and that we experience collectively in our world, with the awareness that it (everything we experience) is all a perfect unfolding, a gift bringing us exactly what we need, necessitates faith.

Faith is that something.

Faith is the unwavering belief that we are a part of something bigger, that there is something beyond our mind (and logical reasoning), beyond our sense of what is real and possible, that is working through us—in fact--that is us.

The perfection we seek, the beauty we desire, the sacredness we crave—it’s already here—and ready to be seen.

Why We Say Namaste

Namaste (often offered at the close of a yoga practice) IS an expression of that faith and an acknowledgement of the perfection of life.  I bow before the Divine in You.  In all of You.  And not just you, but also this moment.  I bow before the Divine in this Moment.

This is a deep experience—if we really reflect on it—the offering of Namaste.

Namaste is humility verbalized.  It says I don’t know why this situation is here, why this relationship is in my life, why this is happening to me—but regardless—it’s ok…everything is in its right place.  Namaste is a release of our tendency to control our life and a melting into our innate belief in the ultimate goodness of the world.

Surely, in that setting of yoga class, with the sweat slowly dissipating from my skin, the ease of breath flowing in and out, the calming thoughts as I amble out of Savasana, and the general feeling of “I-just-did-something-good-for-myself,” it’s easy to offer Namaste.  It’s easy to feel Namaste in the presence of bliss.

But do I mean it?  Or rather…when I go home and the next wave of challenge comes my way—can I feel it then?

Do I see the divine in THIS experience? Do you?

Namaste.