If you’ve been to a yoga class or two, you’ve likely heard the word “Namaste” spoken at the end of class. When I first started practicing yoga in college, I didn’t know what it meant, and honestly, it kind of freaked me out. Was it an incantation for some foreign deity? Was I invoking a spirit? Nope. It’s neither. It is a Sanskrit word that translates roughly to “The divine in me honors the divine in you.” Some use the word “light” or “teacher” in place of divine, and I think they all make sense. The phrase is simply an acknowledgement that there is a piece of divinity (call it God, Spirit, or what you will) in each and every one of us.
When I became a PT I thought I would go out and change people’s lives. I like to believe I do that, but I didn’t expect my patients to change me the way they have. I have learned SO MUCH from all the individuals I have touched and taught over the past decade. They have helped mold my view of the healthcare system, the human body, “evidence-based medicine” and alternative (or “woo”) approaches to healing. They have given me tips on marriage, on family, transformed my view on what it means to be a mother and a woman, and given me confidence in my vocation.
Considering all that, I’m not quite sure why I was surprised to find the same thing when I started teaching yoga. Teaching a room full of students has in turn taught me how to be a better teacher. Perhaps it is each individual over the years that has taught me so much, or perhaps it is that spark of light, of divinity, that common thread that is in each of us, that is teaching us all the time. We just have to look for it. It’s there. And it’s quite easy to find if you are aware.
I now end my classes as I’ll end this post: “The teacher in me honors and sees the teacher in each of you. Namaste.”