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In the years since yoga became popular in the U.S., the word “namaste” has taken on a life of its own. There is a valuable and nuanced conversation about when it is appropriate to use the word in yoga. But outside the studio, “namaste in bed” mugs and “namaslay” T-shirts abound. And these puns and jokes are actually a form of cultural appropriation that’s hurtful and disrespectful.
This week, Susanna Barkataki, author of Embrace Yoga’s Roots, released a YouTube video sharing better ways to honor this sacred word’s reverence.