Monday, October 20, 2008

On Namasté

Never has one single word been so emblematic of a wholesale spirituality sell-out. Namasté is ALWAYS said at the end of every yoga class, and it irks me so, I don’t know why.

Probably because it is always delivered in this kind of overly earnest reverential cadence, the timber of the teacher’s voice indicating that we have collectively placed a spiritual button on the end of class, where as formerly, I associated the word with what the flight attendants say to you as you step out on the tarmac at Calcutta International. Kind of a verbal version of the Hawaiian Lei. Do they do this in Indian ashrams? They must.

Perhaps I should view it in the same roll as I view the spring rolls in any Asian restaurant- sort of a litmus test, a standard indicator for quality. If the teacher can say Namaste without a trace of irony, …..damn. Does that make them good or bad?

I haven’t managed to say it yet. I just burble “thankyou” hoping it sort of looks like I’m saying Namaste. Sure I’ll Om- I’ve even found a way to chant a little. This one’s going to be a hell of a hurdle, though, I can feel it.

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