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Does Namaste Really Need An Exclamation Point?

    The other day at the yoga studio, while in Downward Dog, my gaze drifted from my naval up to the wall behind me where a bright, yellow sign caught me eye.
    It said:
    There were so many wrongs about receiving a note like this in yoga; the distraction factor sitting high on the list. (Did it have to be written on fluorescent yellow?) But the biggest glare to my gaze was the exclamation point.


    Okay, I’m no Swami, or even close…but namaste with an exclamation point?

    Let’s be clear on what this means–

    I honor the light in you that is the light in me.

    This is the broad translation for the Sanskrit word. Usually it’s accompanied with hands in prayer, and a bow.
    Is this gesture not solid on its own? Is a period not enough?

    I understand the overuse of exclamation points in text messages and emails. With communication (and tone) being blurred by the screen, the inclination is to top off the message with a friendly jab. (Or is it a shout?) Sometimes I even use two, or three, or more!!!!

    Now it’s punctuating namaste.

    A few months ago I read a hilarious article on the exaggeration of namaste in the yoga studio.

    Seriously, I would rather see this…


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    4 thoughts on “Does Namaste Really Need An Exclamation Point?”

    1. SirenaTales

      You raise an interesting point, Elysha. Will have to chew on that for awhile. I agree it’s ironic or juxtaposition or something…reverence combined with a shout. You invite me to look at myself and my “practices.” As someone who likes to be enthusiastic, I confess that I sometimes find that I have added a “!” to end several sentences in a row–too much! (exclamation intended:)). That’s when I go back and edit….Thanks very much for the thought provoking post, my friend. xoxo

    2. a note on the wall behind you during class??

    3. ST, I’m guilty of punctuating with exclamation points as well. I think most of us do this b/c nowadays a text or email without one reads dull. It’s as if the exclamation adds life, or something. But some words (or sentences) convey enough life without them. Thank you much for your friendship and support. X X !

    4. Strange, right? I felt almost like I was in trouble. I realize the studio needed to speak to me, but there’s got to be a better way.

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