Updated: Mar 20
What comes to our mind when we hear the word "Namaste"?
Many of us hear that in movies or yoga classes and wonder, "What does this word really mean?"
Namaste is the equivalent of "hello," but with a respectful undertone. 'Namaste' is not just a yoga term; 'nama' means 'bow' and 'te' means 'to you.' As a result, Namaste literally means "bowed to you." The gesture is widely used in India, Nepal, other parts of Asia, and beyond. Namaste is a polite way of greeting, acknowledging, and welcoming a family member, visitor, or stranger.
Namaste, in some contexts, is used by one person to express gratitude for assistance offered or given and to thank the other for their kindness and generosity. In the context of deity worship, Namaste serves the same purpose as greeting a guest or anyone else. It conveys politeness, courtesy, honor, and hospitality from one person to another. It is also used to say goodbye.
When we say Namaste in Yoga
Namaste is a common greeting in yoga. It is an expression in which a message of peaceful spirituality is sent to the universe with the hope of obtaining a positive message in return. Most people say Namaste to express gratitude to the teacher at the end of a class.
However, in modern cultures, Namaste has taken on a new meaning. It is more than just a spiritual chant and a divine greeting; it is widely accepted as an endearing greeting in Western cultures.
"Basically, Namaste is recognizing that we're all equal," "During the class, we're working hard on figuring out our ticks, tendencies, and inner-work; but as we finish the class, and before we go on with our day facing the rest of the world doing the 'out-work,' the Namaste is like a baton pass to take what you've learned on the mat, out to the rest of the world."
How to make the Namaste gesture
When greeting colleagues in India, the Namaste gesture is appropriate. Put both hands together in front of your chest. While saying Namaste, make a small bowing motion. While gesturing, keep your eyes closed and no objects in your hands. Namaste is a polite way of asking for forgiveness and accepting wrongdoing.
Three points to keep in mind the next time you say Namaste
- It is important only to say Namaste when it is meant positively.
- Second, avoid making physical contact when saying Namaste. The absence of physical contact creates a more positive aura. Negativity spreads more easily when people come into contact.
- Last but not least, remember to graze the fingertip pattern, shape, and texture by gently pressing your fingertips together. Namaste is a salute to the world created for and around us. The phrase "the divine in me honors the divine in you" refers to the word's spiritual transfer. Respect the person whom your presence has graced.
So when we say Namaste, we are saying;
My soul honors your soul,
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides,
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace within you,
Because it's also within me,
And in sharing these things, we are the same,
We are one.