Traveling through parts of India, I would be greeted by sincere Indians with the word “Namaste. ”The twinkle in their eyes reminded me of my island home where I am often sincerely greeted with the same twinkle and the word “Aloha.” I knew there was something to both greetings that was beyond the surface. I knew that both greetings carried a higher vibration, one with the tonalities of love, joy and connection.
As I began to learn more about these greetings it confirmed what I knew in my heart…they were practically the same thing and that there is, as Carl Jung pointed out, a “collective unconsciousness” in which we are all unknowingly tethered to.
These ancient cultures half a world away from one another were both deeply connected with that mysterious force that imbibes all organisms both animate and inanimate, and both cultures wanted to express it with their greetings to one another.
When one understands the roots of “Aloha” we find:
alo: sharing, in the present
oha: joyous affection, joy
ha: life energy, life, breath
So Aloha is essentially about the joyous affection in sharing the essence of life.
When one understands the roots of “Namaste” we find:
Namah: adoration, reverential recognition, honor
So, Namaste is essentially about the recognition, honoring of “something” reverential in each person. It is often translated as: The spirit or “essence of life” in me, honors the spirit or “essence of life” in you.
Both ancient greetings recognize that there is a “ha” or “life essence” dwelling in each person, and both cultures share an attitude of adoration or joy. Beyond the mere hello and goodbye, these greetings are timeless and are imbued with a celebration of life and universal oneness.
So the next time you experience an “Aloha” or “Namaste,” check in with that accompanying vibration — which is beyond language and is harmoniously acknowledging a spiritual oneness or human connection.
Jennifer has been certified in the health and fitness industry since 1995, and in 2000 she moved exclusively towards yoga. She is currently a senior student of Dr. Paul Muller-Ortega’s yoga, tantric and meditation-based-studies. Jennifer has been offering RYT teacher training on Oahu since 2008. Her signature class includes a blend of philosophy, mantra, flow, and alignment.