Namaste. A yoga class typically ends with the palms drawn to the heart centre and a slight bow. This simple act has drawn me to my yoga practice.
Five years ago when I first started my yoga journey, I was not strong, my heels could never touch the ground during downward facing dog, I took a lot of breaks because my abs hurt and I’m falling from balancing postures. Somehow, I continued on the practice, some weeks with great fervour, and many weeks sluggishly.
Yoga is an individual journey. It’s you, your mat and self-discipline. My first inspiring yogi folks that drew me to a more regular practice are the online instructors who are graceful and strong. YouTube has been such an awesome enabler! Tara Stiles, Ali Kamenova and Kino MacGregor are my first few inspiring online yoga teachers that I turn to after a long day at work. They have been the most generous teachers whom I’m thankful for their consistent sharing through their YouTube channels.
As I draw my palms to the heart centre, gently saying namaste at the end of a 10-minute Tara Stiles, 15-minute Kino, or 1-hour Ali Kamenova online yoga class, I come to realize I do not fully understand the meaning of the word, sometimes saying it pretty mindlessly, while some days a warm connection is felt.
Namaste (Namah + te) is derived from Sanskrit. Namah means ‘bow’ and te means ‘to you’. Therefore, Namaste literally means ‘I bow to you’.
For a teacher and student, Namaste essentially allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, and the teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward the students, and invites the students to connect to the yoga lineage. I found most resonance with this extracted explanation by Aadil Palkhivala, a Yoga Journal expert and teacher.
The yoga journey has led me to discover the practice more deeply and I find myself in Tirisula Yoga Teacher Training. By far, I am simply thankful to be advancing this journey with Tirisula.
Master Paalu has delivered the classes with passion, humour and rich knowledge of the science behind yoga and its philosophy, and Wei Ling’s honest, clear and methodical way of teaching have pushed my knowledge and practice to another level. My fellow March 2018 classmates have been the most encouraging, caring and enjoyable yogi folks. While 24-pax may seem too large a class at first, it is perfect for a 200-hour part-time YTT to get to know a fun-loving bunch of fellow yogis gradually over a span of 10 weekends, and learn from one another teaching styles.
There’s only gratitude felt as the 200-hour YTT draws to an end. And all hopeful to a brighter chapter as the yoga journey continues on.