Two phrases heard in class that sometimes confuse!

What does Namaste mean?

We use Namaste as a greeting and mark of respect, most commonly at the end of a class, sometimes at the start or on welcoming someone in.

The literal translation is “I bow to you”, a more common translation capturing its essence, “The highest light in me honours and respects the highest light in you” – for light, you may wish to read conciousness.

Why is the chant of OM used?  What does it mean?

OM – or Aum – is considered to be the underlying sound and energy of the universe.  All that is, was and will be. 

Its also the symbol ॐ that we often see in Yoga.

Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it – Mandukya Upanishad

In class we use the chant of OM, normally at the end of class, to connect back to the ancient roots of yoga.  I also think its a nice link to the shared energy of many other yoga classes going on around the county and world at the same time.