This week’s design highlight is, once again, one of our three new designs for July 2019: The Light In Me and alludes to one of my very favorite words ever: Namaste
Commonly translated as “the light in me honors the light in you”, namaste is the most commonly used word amongst yogis — and with good reason.
When yoga class ends, we bow to each other with palms pressed together at heart center, reminding ourselves of the good energy and intention we’ve set forth in our practice. When we say “namaste”, we are acknowledging and honoring the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace in ourselves and in one another. And when we leave, we go back into the real world with this energy in our hearts.
Similar to the Hawaiian word aloha, “namaste” is used as both as a greeting and as a farewell, and is generally said with hands pressed together and pointed upwards from the chest while bowing slightly. According to the Wikipedia, namaste is a combination of the Sanskrit word namas and “the second person dative pronoun in its enclitic form, te.”
Disclaimer: I am not a linguist. I have no idea what that actually means, but essentially te is a familiar and informal — if slightly outdated — form of “you”, not unlike the English words thee and thou. You would only use it with someone with who you are very familiar, like a partner or a child. On the other hand, namas means “bow”, so namaste literally means “bowing to thee”. But enough linguistics.
The gesture is ancient and widespread throughout south and southeast Asia, having been adopted by many cultures outside of its original Hindu source in the Indian subcontinent. Statues dating back as far as 3000 BCE have been unearthed depicting the same gesture we use in modern times. It’s rather amazing and remarkable that such as simple gesture has survived unchanged for three millenia. A related gesture with a very similar meaning is found in the Thai wai, which is used as a gesture of respect. Even Ronald McDonald shows his respect towards customers there:
Ronald McDonald Greeting Customers in Thailand
I… well, I’m not sure how I feel about that. A thoughtful gesture of respect, yet still incredibly creepy…
FAR from creepy, however, is our The Light in Me yoga mat. Made from beautifully dyed microfiber suede, this design will not fade or bleed and will stand up to many, many wash cycles. (That’s right — our yoga mats are completely machine-washable! Don’t try that with other yoga mats!) Designed by Karla and depicting one of my favorite asanas in a gorgeous and serene mountain setting (complete with a flock of ravens!), this mat will serve you well for years and help focus your intentions on the deep meaning of the word “namaste”.
The real world can be overwhelming. The news can be discouraging. Our personal lives can easily become difficult to balance. What a difference it makes when we seek a connection to each other, embrace the humanity we share, and honor the light that shines so brightly.
Namaste, my friends.
(And in celebration of this new design for the month of July, take $10 off The Light in Me through July 28 using the promo code — wait for it — NAMASTE. Happy Monday, everyone; may your week be an easy one!)