Though, to this Hindu girl who migrated to Australia in the 1990s, the appropriation of yoga by western audiences goes further. Namaste! It's about considering whether you can practise yoga without spiritually harvesting a culture and religion that is not yours when you have no deeper understanding, or desire to understand, the historical and social roots of the culture yoga comes from. What does it mean to say namaste. That is I bow to you, tvam. I respect and appreciate the teachers I work with; I value the time I spend in their classes. And it's about considering whether your casually saying a few namastes at the end of your yoga class feeds into the commodification of Hindu spirituality that then makes it OK for people to Instagram memes such as 'Namaste away from me', to publish a yoga book as a white woman called 'Namaslay', and to make people of South Asian and Hindu identity feel exoticised and misunderstood. But hearing namaste chanted by the white yoga instructor to a predominantly white class was unsettling. I don’t think too many people outside the Dharmic belief systems have the first clue what that means. The best part of Namaste or Namaskar form of greeting is, you can greet a person from any visible distance. The first part of namaste comes from "namaha," a Sanskrit verb that originally meant "to bend." I also choose to no longer engage in a habit that conflicts with my understanding of Sanskrit and yoga. The word Namaste means “I bow to you.”. They should know that both are different, but not too much. I prefer to say these things clearly, concisely and in my own language. It will reward whoever builds the app keeping the security of the users in mind. A recognition of effort and goodness in others. Namaste means I bow to you. Generally in Indian culture, greetings are made using words like Namaste, Pranam, Namah. When the 45 minutes were up, I eagerly tried to scuttle away when I heard the instructor say 'nam-aasss-tay'. They often say Pranama instead of Namaste. In Japan, the gesture is "Gassho" and used in similar fashion, typically in prayer and healing practice. I see you. My brother, the youngest and the naughtiest of us, moved his lips pretending to say namaste but actually swore, cursing the person's mother. And when I think about it now, it feels wrong to use in a yoga class. I got to thinking, ‘If I want to bow to the students at Rainier Beach Yoga and I want to honor them (all of them) is Namaste the best way to do that?’ At this point, the answer for me is no. It can be considered as a legacy that has been passed down since generations via the holy scriptures – the “Sutras” and is comparable to other sacred texts such as the ‘Quran’ or the ‘Bible’. I’ve started questioning a lot of what many white yoga teachers do or say in classes, including my own. My parents would say “Bappa la namaskar ker”, which means “Go pray to God”. Thousands of new, high … It is rooted in the civilization of India and Nepal. For the caption, he wrote, "My friends, in this atmosphere of coronavirus worldwide, I feel that the best way to greet each other is not to shake hands but to go back to the traditional Indian way of greeting to say namaste. The word was familiar to me. namaskar. So, namaskar is also used to denote “pray” or “give respect”. It’s almost like 2 different definitions for the same word. I recently had a conversation with a person of Indian descent who said she does not like when white yoga teachers say ‘namaste’ because she noticed that white teachers make a grand gesture out of the word, and her experience with the word is more informal. Difference between “Namaste” and “Pranama” Most people get confused between Namaste and Pranama. Answer: The word namaste, pronounced “NUHM-uh-stay,” is a common Hindu/Indian greeting often used in conjunction with a small bow and with the palms of one’s hands placed together, fingers up, in front of the chest.In Indian culture, it is used casually. What is the Meaning of Namaste? I think a lot about the ways that I bring yoga into the world, and, in particular, how I sometimes bring the teachings forward without much discernment. That is namaste. In many western countries, Hinduism is treated as a mystic and ancient tradition and India as magical - ignoring the fact that Hinduism is a living, breathing contemporary religion practised by millions of people in their everyday lives around the world, including a huge Indian diaspora in Australia. RESPECT. Namaste is a popular greeting in Eastern cultures and is gaining traction in the West with the spread of yoga. Namaste, a traditional Hindu greeting, ... Don't say "hello" with your hands -- say it with your brows. In the contemporary era, it is found on the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and among the Indian diaspora worldwide. Indian greeting. It isn’t an authentic use of the word, and the whole point of yoga is to get in touch with who you really are and get your body and mind closer to that (i.e. Namaste! Given most classes are taught by white women, and most ads you see for yoga classes or yoga wear feature white women, white women have become the embodiment of yoga in Australia. Very good question. It is a multifaceted philosophy, medicine system and way of life. A dictionary defines namaste as "a traditional Hindu greeting said with a hand gesture, in which the palms are pressed together at the chest or head accompanied by a slight bow or arm raise. Whenever a person sees another person they always greet with namaste.. American yogis know the word namaste pretty well. How to Say Namaste. Much of this has been due to its use in yoga. I gladly offer respect, gratitude, honor and joy when I feel them. In fact, during their colonial rule, the British banned certain practices of yoga which they perceived as threatening and 'less acceptable' Hindu practices. Anupam Kher. Personally, I used to think it was dumb when a person said namaste in a yoga class. I took to social media to inquire why so many white yoga teachers say it, where we learned that we should say it at the end of class, and what the general thoughts were about this word. Closer home, actors Salman Khan and Anupam Kher were among the first to ask people to say namaste instead of shaking hands. I asked a friend, whose teacher is Indian, how namaste is incorporated or not into their practice. That was a relief. That isn't to say somehow that yoga belongs only to Hindus or to all Hindus. Whether marketed as an exercise class or a way to connect with your spiritual self, the commodification of yoga in a way that is entirely dismissive or ignorant of its roots or connections to an existing religion is appropriation at its worst. See more. The idea behind Namaste is a beautiful one, at least the way it has been generally appropriated in western yoga. Rina Desphande helps us understand how to pronounce "Namaste" correctly and with more cultural appreciation. ... do the same, but touch your nose with your index finger instead. But, I’ve gotten used to it and think of it as a part of American yoga-culture, like Lululemon. You’re correct about the inflection being more like nuh-muh-stay. Thus, I bow to you. Say Namaste is an easy to use and secure video conferencing app. For the caption, he wrote, "My friends, in this atmosphere of coronavirus worldwide, I feel that the best way to greet each other is not to shake hands but to go back to the traditional Indian way of greeting to say namaste. She laughed and told me they have never said namaste to each other. We hear it in almost every yoga class and translate the Sanskrit word to mean “the divine in me bows to the divine in you” or something close – substitute divine for light or spirit or another good-feeling term. On March 3, Anupam Kher took to Twitter and asked his fans to avoid shaking hands and instead join hands and share the traditional pleasantries instead. There are various Mudra’s in yoga, Namaste is very popular in India and it is a greeting to everyone. Namaste is my way of greeting Hindi speaking elders in my hometown Melbourne or a way of saying hello to most people back in India. And yes, final “e” is enunciated like the “ay” in “stay” ( am telling the “a” in “gate” ). Often our hands move from our third eye to our heart in acknowledgment of our teacher. Really? It's about questioning whether your practice of yoga is claiming space away from people of colour to whom yoga is more than a part of their daily routine – it's a part of their cultural and religious identity. Instead, as the class went on, I felt like an imposter. In order to do that, you should probably steer clear of inauthenticity as much as possible.”, There were also many teachers who felt strongly connected to the meaning of the word, and how the word was a way of honoring students. Rarely do I say Namaste unless it’s an adult I talk in Hindi with that I give respect to. This is what feels right in the moment, and I am committed to continuing to practice internal introspection and external conversation about this as well as all the practices of yoga that I know, do not know, and have a mistaken and/or uninformed knowledge of. He … If the yoga class itself wasn't white-centric enough, she really had to place the appropriative cherry on top. If we’re talking in English then there’s literally no need to say namaste/namaskar. And connect, it did. Contexts. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! Instead of greeting a person in handshake fashion, show gratitude, to respect his/her soul by folding hands in Pranam or Namaste mudra. It’s definitely used as a greeting, but we also use it as something you give/do to someone or something, especially to God. Namaste in bed; Namaslay; Namaste-away; Namaste at the bar; Namaste bitches (as shown on that confused sweatshirt in the above picture) There’s a whole list but I’ll stop there. It shows an ironic attachment of one's ego to a desire for ownership over an ancient practice of material denouncement that emerged from an altogether different, South Asian tradition.". Words to use instead of SAID. I will hold your hand, and we’ll help each other find our way in the dark. But, I’ve gotten used to it and think of it as a part of American yoga-culture, like Lululemon. As a result of my linguistic inquiries, I’ve even stopped saying Namaste when I’m in the role of a student. I respect and appreciate the teachers I work with; I value the time I spend in their classes. See also 6 Ways to Teach Yoga With Less Cultural Appropriation Want more? Say Namaste is not the Indian government’s official video conferencing app, and instead of becoming a Zoom alternative, wants to focus on privacy from its design. As a Hindu woman, this places me as the "other" in a culture that is mine. Namaste (/ ˈ n ɑː m ə s t eɪ /, Devanagari: नमस्ते, Sanskrit pronunciation: [nəməsteː] ()), sometimes spoken as namaskar and namaskaram, is a customary, non-contact form of Hindu greeting. At the end of any class I’m attending, instead of saying Namaste, I bow in silence. That’s because the first two a’s are short and so stressed like “uh” ( say the “a”’s in “America” ). It does not rhyme with Nescafe; Namaste is a three-syllable word. My parents would say “Go do namaskar to that person before we leave” and I would go and touch their feet and receive their blessings. Namaste is used by the Hindus as a mark of offering or worship to a deity. Most times if I’m talking in Hindi I just start with Kaise Ho/Aap kaise hai. Namah + te means in Sanskrit, bow to you. Instead of this particular word, sometimes the phrase ‘Namo vah’ may also be used, which carries a similar meaning, however used in case of three or more individuals,when they want to … I'm a Hindi speaking Hindu girl from Mumbai. A deep bow to all who help me wake up more fully, challenge me to practice discernment and encourage me to continue refining who I am in the world. It also furthers the economic exploitation of the colonised by the colonisers - landing the profits from a practice that has been appropriated from the colonised in the pockets of the colonisers. Yoga in Hindu traditions is more than physical exercise. A ritual gesture of Eastern origin, with hands pressed together in front of the chest. Namaste vs. namaskar. When the 45 minutes were up, I eagerly tried to scuttle away when I heard the instructor say 'nam-aasss-tay'. Maybe instead of all the “namaste” it’s time we say, it’s okay. Indian greeting. Say Namaste is a new India-based video conferencing tool but not developed by the government. Most times if I’m talking in Hindi I just start with Kaise Ho/Aap kaise hai. It literally means “bowing forward” with respect to their deity or an elder. So, namaskar is also used to denote “pray” or “give respect”. What Is Namaste ? He started out by saying I was correct in the way I recommended declaring “namaste.”. The word was familiar to me. the divine). However, contrary to the WhatsApp messages about Say … Use Say Namaste app to easily start or join a video call whether it is between 2 individuals or a multiple. Although in the West the word "Namaste" is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing. By saying namasté (and meaning it), you are saying that you see others for what you actually are. This way, you are safe from absorbing harmful virus. On March 3, Anupam Kher took to Twitter and asked his fans to avoid shaking hands and instead join hands and share the traditional pleasantries instead. Bhaktha puts it simply in his artist statement: "The act of selectively choosing what works in popular Western contexts, while ignoring aspects of yoga's core philosophy and historic practice is telling. Pranama is also a gesture and salutation among the Hindus. Chiraag Bhaktha, a.k.a Pardon My Hindi, documented a history of yoga products and advertisements from the 1960s to '80s in his installation '#whitepeopledoingyoga', which exemplified the 'white-fication' of yoga through images of Executive Yoga, Unisex Yoga and even Christian Yoga. Use Say Namaste app to easily create a new meeting or join an existing meeting. Why white people need to stop saying 'namaste'. The history of colonisation in India means that the practice of yoga in countries with colonial ties, like Australia, can never truly be a friendly exchange. Namaste! The government of India has launched a new ‘Innovative Challenge’ urging startups to participate and build the country’s own video-conferencing application. As a policy of conciliation towards some aspects of Indian culture was pursued by the British in the later years of their rule, the Brits promoted a re-appropriated more physical 'modern' yoga which is more akin to the postural yoga taught in many classes in Australia today. Yoga is a subject not just limited to postures, but extends beyond to a spiritual discipline and practice. Mostly Namaste is practiced in countries of South Asia. For such an old word, it came to English fairly recently. The Sanskrit phrase namaste is formed from namaḥ, meaning “bow, obeisance, adoration,” and the enclitic pronoun te, meaning “to you.”The noun namaḥ, in turn, is a derivative of the verb namati, which means “(she or he) bends, bows.”. Be sure to refresh the page by pressing both the Ctrl key and the F5 key to ensure you are seeing the latest version.. Here's a list of similar words from our thesaurus that you can use instead. It’s an affirmation of the choice to identify with God-consciousness, rather than the ego, which would have you believe that you are somehow superior or inferior to any other being on this planet. News18.com Last Updated: April 23, 2020, 10:29 IST I see you, and it’s okay. The practice of yoga in western countries for white audiences began in the 1960s when Indian yoga gurus sold yoga as a way to fill a perceived gap in their audience's spirituality. Press the Ctrl key and the F key to open up a search box.. For instructions on how to properly use the words below, click the instructions button below: The use of Namaste in Indian culture is generally considered appropriate, but due to the spread of Coronavirus in the recent past, it is seen that the practice of Namaste is being adopted by foreign culture as well. This is primarily because, as a brown girl raised Hindu, to me practising yoga is much more than regularly attending $20 classes wearing trendy activewear. Mr Kher called the "old Indian way of … According to Google, “Namasté” can be translated as “"I bow to the divine in you". Need synonyms for namaste? Rarely do I say Namaste unless it’s an adult I talk in Hindi with that I give respect to. Personally, I used to think it was dumb when a person said namaste in a yoga class. These arguments aside - it is undeniable that yoga has Hindu roots. I see your shadows and they’re a lot like mine. There are many caste and class-based critiques of yoga in India and Indian diasporas which say that yoga has often been used as a tool by communities with existing power to project a certain image of what it means to be Indian or Hindu at the expense of minority and oppressed voices. My parents would say “Bappa la namaskar ker”, which means “Go pray to God”. The word Namaste originated from the Sanskrit language. Learn the translations of this spiritual salutation and why you may want to start saying it more, too. I don't practise yoga to feel #blessed or to find my inner chakra. Looking for a specific word? Say Namaste, he says, was a nod towards the present times of avoiding physical contact, and more importantly, Indian-ise the video conferencing tool to connect better with the audience. Question: "What is the meaning of namaste?" If you are saying namaste at the end of a yoga practice, you can bow your head with your eyes closed and touch your head to the ground to connect with the earth. Again, since Sanskrit doesn’t translate well directly into English, it can be difficult to parse out the difference between the two words. To be honest I have not learned yoga from many teachers of color, and even fewer teachers of Indian descent. This is the first time I’ve really thought about it. First disclaimer. The asanas, or 'poses', that people perform when they go to their local class are one part of several other practices – including mediation, abstention and liberation – that are considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism. I conclude with ‘thank you’ and a physical bow. I share my hope that any learnings that resonated with them continue to benefit them as well as ripple out into their relationships, communities, and the world at large. ... the sound of OM is actually three syllables - a, u, and m. Some people chant "AUM" instead of "OM". The Sanskrit phrase namaste is formed from namaḥ, meaning “bow, obeisance, adoration,” and the enclitic pronoun te, meaning “to you.”The noun namaḥ, in turn, is a derivative of the verb namati, which means “(she or he) bends, bows.”. For such an old word, it came to English fairly recently. This entire word is combined to form the word hello. Synonyms for namaste include namaskar, namaskara, namaskaram, pranāma, añjali, respectful greeting, salutation and gassho. The yoga class felt strange, as if I had somehow gone there in a misguided attempt to connect with what I thought was a part of my identity. My current ending ritual with students is an offering. Yoga, a spiritual practice with Hindu roots, has since been distorted into something more palatable for white audiences – a way to exercise and connect with one's spirituality. Critically analysing your yoga practice isn't undermining the years these yogis might have spent dedicated to learning this form of exercise, art, lifestyle – whatever it may mean to them. Though it has its origins in India, Namaste is now known and used throughout the world. My brain separates the “American yoga Namaste” from the “Namaste” that someone would use in India. The word namaste, pronounced “NUHM-uh-stay,” is a Sanskrit phrase formed from namah, meaning, “ I have stopped saying Namaste in my classes after much internal introspection as well as external conversation. When using namaste for greeting you can look the person in the eyes and gently bow your head. As South Asian American Perspectives on Yoga in America (SAAPYA) put it brilliantly in their short film 'We are not Exotic, We are Exhausted', such portrayals of yoga can be ostracising and excluding to South Asians who are trying to navigate a dual Western and South Asian identity, especially in the context of people regularly confusing Hindu and Hindi, white people wearing bindis to bush doofs and t-shirts with images of Ganesh and Shiva on them. It exists alongside a wider ignorance about Hinduism and South Asian culture which, when you've spent a fair amount of your formative years being othered, can hit home hard. Whew! Or I would do namaskar to a picture or statue of God at home or at a temple, where I’d pray in front of them for a minute. Instead, as the class went on, I felt like an imposter. At the end of any class I’m attending, instead of saying Namaste, I bow in silence. The gesture is one of greeting in India. Anupam Kher took to his twitter urging people to say ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking hands amid the coronavirus outbreak and his tweet is going viral. - You can use Say Namaste for 1:1 conversations as well as group audio and video conference. Students will often bow in respect to their teacher and say "Namaste" at the end of a class. Noun. I'm not a yogi. . Namaste definition, a conventional Hindu expression on meeting or parting, used by the speaker usually while holding the palms together vertically in front of the bosom. And usually Namaste is said at the end of a class, but i… The literal translation of the word “Namaste” breaks down into three sections...Namameans bow; as means I; and, te means you. And it seems like you are bowing to the person. This is page is updated often. The word Namaste is used to greet the guest and the revered. te is the Sanskrit short form of tava or tvam. Most often we hold our hands together in the prayer position at our heart chakra. And who am I learning from? Garg and his team built the app in two days while working from home, in a bid to cash in on the demand for video conferencing tools during the Covid-19 work from home period. Here is what one person shared, who is Indian-Canadian: “Some background: In Marathi we say “namaskar”. If we’re talking in English then there’s literally no need to say namaste/namaskar. Sure, there are yoga teachers in western societies who have studied Hindu teachings in their certified yoga teacher courses. Anupam Kher. As both a teacher and student of Sanskrit for more than ten years, it’s my experience that, here in the U.S., Namaste makes the top ten list for Most Commonly Mispronounced Sanskrit Words. Am I teaching something because my teacher taught it, or I read it somewhere, or I heard it in a training? Find namaste stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. Sometimes, you may hear the word “ namaskar ” in place of the word “ namaste .”. Namaste is a greeting in the Hindu custom and does not have a context in Buddhism.. Namaste (/ˈnɑːməsteɪ/, Hindi: [nəməsteː] (About this sound listen))), sometimes spoken as Namaskar, Namaskaram is a respectful form of greeting in Hindu custom, found on the Indian subcontinent mainly in India and Nepal and among the Indian diaspora. A lot like mine sometimes, you can look the person to bend. Eastern cultures and gaining! 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