Open Apology for Contributing to the Bastardization of Namaste

Open Apology for Contributing to the Bastardization of Namaste

Namaste: My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you. Because it is also within me. In sharing these things, we are united. We are the same. We are one.

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D

Namaste is a Hindi word that has meaning to those in India, the Nepalese, and Indian diaspora.  The word, literally translated, means greetings to you.  Among Hindi speakers, this word, and gesture, has meaning. 

However, in the US, the word has been bastardized, completely taken out of context, and thrown around to mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean in the moment. Sometimes the speaker uses it religiously, or with a heavy undertone.  Other times its drivel.  No matter what people think it means, it usually completely wrong.

The first part of the word, “namaha” is a Sanskrit verb that meant “to bend.” Over time, as with so many words, this meaning changed to “greetings.”  The end of the word, “te”, means “to you.”  The word, literally translated, means “greetings to you” and is mostly use as a salutation to a divinity.  Therefore the word is typically spoken with reverence, a slight bow, hands pressed together, palms touching, thumbs close to the chest; a gesture called añjali mudrā.

Ending Class with Cranio-Sacral relaxation and namaste

What got me thinking about Namaste:

Recently I ended a class with the usual savasana, guided breathing and meditation, and, as the class was coming back to the center of their mats, I put my hands together at heart center, bowed to these beautiful souls, and uttered “Namaste.”  One of my students asked me what Namaste means.  I gave her a rough translation.

“It means, basically, that my soul sees, honors, and respects, your soul.”

She was content with this answer, finished rolling up her mat and left.  Sadly, I wasn’t content with this answer.  I’ve heard the above so many times, but do I really know what it means. 

As a white woman, do I have any right to utter these words so flippantly to my students?  Not that I have ever used this word disrespectfully, but I’m sure there has been a class that I ended using this sacred word while thinking of the groceries I need to get, or errands I need to run.

I did some reading, and research, to see if I was wrong.

Turns out, I wam.

I am sorry. Now I know better. I will be better.

Jenni Hackworth

This is why I will never say namaste to a class again.

To Hindus, “Namaste” isn’t just a word, or a greeting.  It is an important phrase with a key focus on religion.  Of all the religious greetings that have been misused, and bastardized, Namaste is used incorrectly so often that many Hindus actually cringe when a white person utters it reverently.

…and don’t even get me started on the complete abuse of the word, in American phrases.  Phrases that I won’t even write out here because they are considered offensive.

I have found, through my research, that most yoga classes do not end with Namaste.  In fact, this is an appropriation of yogic culture by westerners.  The Hindis I spoke with said this is something that Americans do that shows their ignorance to other cultures.

Therefore, I will no longer use the word “Namaste” at the end of class.  Instead I will clasp my hands together at heart center, and thank all of you beautiful souls who took time out of your day to come join me for yoga.

And to any Hindis that may be reading this, I am sorry.  Now I know better.  I will be better.

Blessings my friends.

Jul 22, 2022

Mango: Delicious, Nutritious, Amazing No Matter How You Cut It

Happy Mango Day!

The Mango is native to India and Southeast Asia. There are hundreds of types of mangoes, each with their own characteristic color, shape, size, and even taste.

A Bit of Mango History

According to several sources, the mango was first cultivated more than 4,000 years ago in India. Mango is a stone fruit that grows on a tropical tree called the Mangifera indica. The tree can grow up to 150 feet tall and can have an extremely long life span. Mangos, growing from the tree’s flowers, can take four to five months to fully ripen and, before this, they are green and hard. There are more than 500 varieties in the world.

Mango was first grown in India and it has a special significance for this country. The Buddha was depicted sitting near a huge mango tree and the Mughal emperor, Babur, decided to conquer India after he tasted a particularly delicious mango. It was the Mughal empire that went on to create and cultivate the many famous mango varieties. The mangoes were so beloved to the empire that one of the emperors, Shah Jahan Zafar, had his son punished after learning that he had reserved and eaten all the mangoes in the palace. As time went by, mangoes traveled from India to other countries of the world. In South Asia, mangoes are so valued that they are considered the national fruit of Pakistan and India, and the national tree of Bangladesh. A basket of mangoes is also considered a gesture of friendship in the region. [cite]

Nutritional Value of a Mango

These delicious fruit are also impressively nutritious! One cup of mango has:

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein 1.4g
  • Carbs: 24.7g
  • Fat: .6g
  • Fiber 2.6g
  • Sugar 22.5g
  • Vitamin C: 67% of the DV
  • Copper: 20% of the DV
  • Folate: 18% of the DV
  • Vit B6: 12% of the DV
  • Vit A: 10% of the DV
  • Vit E: 10% of the DV
  • Vit K: 6% of the DV
  • Niacin: 7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 6% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 4% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 4% of the DV

These amazing fruits are nutritious and delicious! That’s why I love using them in smoothies!

Tropical Mango Smoothie Recipe:

Mango Smoothie Recipe


  • 3 oz each frozen mango, pineapple, and papaya
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I use vanilla flavored whey powder)
  • 3/4c each orange juice and vanilla almond milk

Throw it all in the blender and blend on high. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

I hope that I’ve convinced you to try mango in a smoothie. And if you already love mango as much as I do, eat some today! After all, its Mango Day!

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What’s new in the White Lotus World

How White Lotus Came To Be

When I first started White Lotus, way back in January 2020, I had no idea what the future would hold. I was taking classes to become a personal trainer, a transformation specialist, and a sports nutritionist. I was so excited and ready for this change.

And then everything came to a grinding halt.

I’d love to say that at the height of the pandemic I continued working out, got super buff, and switched my practice to online. I’d love to say that I didn’t eat at every restaurant in my town, and drink entirely too much alcohol. (Hey, I was supporting small local businesses!)

I can’t say any of those things though. I gained just over 60lbs. I fell into a deep depression. I lost so many friends I’ve lost count. I was so stressed out. When you have chronic illnesses, like I do, a global pandemic is scary because if you catch the virus, your chances of dying are much higher.

So here I am, fully vaccinated, and finally getting back on the path my soul is destined to travel. I’ve lost just over 30lbs. I have 25 more to go in order to be at my pre-pandemic weight. I have 35 to go to reach my goal weight…but at this point that’s just a number on a scale. I want to feel healthy again. I want to help others feel healthy and happy.

So that’s how White Lotus came in to existence. Its my dream to help others, and this is the physical fruition of that dream. I may not be the thinnest, but I’m a great yoga teacher. I may have lived a crazy life, but that just makes me a better life coach. So if you’re looking to healthy, join me on this amazing journey!

White Lotus Logo with Namaste and Jenni's signature