So, our yoga class usually starts with a meditation. It ends with another meditation and we all clasp our hands together and modestly semi bow to one another, clasping hands and saying “namaste” But Namaste will never sound quite the same.
When Trump visited India, Modi arranged for him to visit his home town, where the President was greeted by a sea of Indians in a giant soccer stadium, all wearing while baseball caps with the words “Namaste Trump” on the caps. Namaste comes from Sanskrit, the precursor to Hindi, and it means “I bow to you” “ It is a greeting based on one’s inner peace and divinity But somehow, a stadium filled with screaming sycophants has replaced my image of the Hindi embodiment of peace and well being. It makes me cringe as I think of two leaders celebrating each other’s greatness, while the masses riot in the streets of Delhi in response to the marginalization of muslims in Inda.
Another brilliant Economist cover…
On a lighter note, relaxation time in our yoga class, which precedes “Namaste,’ remains the highlight of my week. Why is it so hard to relax? “Get comfortable,” our teacher says. Then she starts talking in that quiet , reassuring, ethereal tone and I begin to drift. “Free up your mind. If you start to wander off and think about other things, it’s okay Just be aware and bring yourself back.” She continues and after a short while I am asleep on my yoga mat Only Camille knows how to make me let go of the busy outside world,. and finally relax.
I got there late today as I had a county wide meeting. So, I rush in and immediately sink into the timeless, borderless world of our class. No pressure “Just breathe. …Put your hand on your belly, the center of power.”
I was never good at breathing. I cannot swim because it involves submerging your head in the water and then coordinating breathing side to side. I could not play a brass instrument like the trombone, trumpet, sax, or clarinet because all of them required breathing I don’t have the endurance to participate in a long race or a neighboorhood walking activity like the Turkey Trot or Bunny Hop because I don’t have the endurance. I can’t breathe normally enough to fuel a runner for that long- I am just not a breather but I am still alive by the grace of God