Yoga Greetings

Last month we shared the reason we chant “OM” 3 times at the beginning and end of some of our classes and the meaning of “OM”. This month we’d like to share the meaning of some of the other greetings you might hear in a Yoga class.

NAMASTE”: Some classes finish with everyone saying Namaste accompanied by a bowing gesture with the hands at the heart in prayer position (anjali mudra). This means: I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.

“ONG NAMO GURUDEV NAMO”: We say this mantra three times to tune in at the beginning of each Kundalini class. The phrase is repeated each time on one breath. In Gurmukhi it means: I call on the infinite creative consciousness. I call on the divine teacher within and without.

“SAT NAM”: This mantra can be used as a quiet, internal mantra by repeating internally Sat (on the inhale), Nam (on the exhale) or at the end of a Kundalini class by chanting long Sat, short Nam (Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Naammmmm). Sat means Be or that which truly exists and Nam means bow or submit, so you are bowing to Truth or to the essence of Being. It is usually explained as: I am Truth, Truth is my identity.

“OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI”: Om is considered to be the primordial sound, the sound from which all other sounds are formed. Shanti means peace. So “Om Shanti, shanti, shanti” in an invocation to peace.

~ article by Kelly Fisher, Lynda Miers-Henneveld

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