The word we end each yoga class with. I’ve said it thousands of times, and each time I say it I feel the rich meaning and weight of the word. Namaste. Often I'm asked what this word means. The young boy at the elementary school asks in a teasing manner, “What does nam-oh-yay mean?” He has a smirk on his face and waits to see how I'll respond. I take a deep breath, look him in the eyes and say, “The very best part of me sees, knows, and recognizes the very best part of you.” He is looking at me, there is a light of recognition in his eyes. Before he leaves the classroom, he runs up to me and throws his arms around my waist. Namaste. Or the time in juvie when a young man asked curiously, “What’s that word you say at the end?” I tell him slowly and spell it out. He asks me what it means, I take a deep breath, look him in the eyes, and tell him, “The very best part of me sees, knows, and recognizes the very best part of you.” His eyes start to tear up, he nods his head. We sit in silence. Or the young woman in the transitional recovery home who asks me, “Why do you say Namaste, what does it mean?” And I tell her, “The very best part of me sees, knows, and recognizes the very best part in you.” And she responds, “Well, you did that for me today.” And the countless other times I have said this word, this beautiful coming back to my own self.
One day, I was curious about the power of this vibration. I silently said this word throughout my day. I made a mental note to repeat it in my mind to as many people, some I knew, most I didn't. I noticed how people would turn around and smile, or people went out of their way to keep a door open, or how people looked at me and just smiled.
I bring my hands in front of my heart center, and I say this word to you, Namaste.