In most yoga classes you will hear the teacher, and maybe the yoga studio owner and other students saying the word “namaste” to one another. Maybe you say it back just because it is kind of fun to say because of the way it rolls off of your tongue, or maybe you don’t say it at all because you have no idea what it means! Well, here is the explanation.
Namaste is an acknowledgement that there is a divine light in each of us. Literally, “nama” means “bow”, “as” means “I, and “te” means you. Translated, this means “I bow to you.” By saying namaste to another person, you are bowing to their internal light and recognizing that it the same light that glows from within yourself and everyone around you. It is a gesture of gratitude, respect and equality.
Traditionally, namaste is done at the beginning and end of a yoga class. To do it correctly, bring your hands into prayer in front of your heart. Bow your head and close your eyes, saying “namaste” once. As Yoga Journal describes, “For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom. “
Namaste is a wonderful thing to keep in mind wherever you go, no matter who or what you encounter. Remember that we are all united and share this light and this world together. Namaste to that.