This Sanskrit gesture and word is widely used and accepted in India. This divine salutation, a Sanskrit word and motion, is used in the West without understanding its meaning. In India, however, this greeting is used every day. Knowledge, devotion, and respect are critical to understanding the true meaning of a yogi’s favorite way to finish their yoga practice.
What is the meaning of Namaste
We need to break down Namaste into three parts to understand its meaning. The root word Namah can be translated into “bow,” “adoration,” and “respectful greeting.” The middle As is translated to “I,” while the ending Te is “to you.” In this context, Namaste means “the divine spark within me bows down to the divine within you.”
What is the correct way to say Namaste
Namaste, pronounced “Nah mah stey,” is typically said with a slight bend and hands in Anjali Mudra (or prayer position). You can either open your eyes and look at the other person’s eyes or close them. The teacher will often end a yoga lesson with a Namaste. Students are expected to return the Namaste to their teacher and all other students. Saying Namaste is a way to express love, gratitude, respect, and kindness towards someone.
What is the Namaste hand gesture
Anjali Mudra is the hand gesture that goes with the bow of Namaste. In Yoga, this gesture is used as a greeting and a way to show respect. Our hands touching the heart chakra will increase the flow of divine kindness, love, and compassion. We can surrender to the Divine by closing our eyes and bowing our heads. We do this to show gratitude for our lives and to honor the divine soul within each other.
Why do we say Namaste
Namaste is an elegant and humble way of showing respect to another person. You can express your kindness, pure heart, and good wishes to others. Namaste is a powerful way to identify and see the virtues and good in others. Namaste can also be used to affirm unity, equality, and oneness between people in the Asian spiritual community and in the yoga world.
When should you say Namaste to someone
You may feel more comfortable bowing at the end of yoga class and saying Namaste, just as when chanting Om. It’s lovely to turn and not say Namaste if you don’t feel comfortable. You can also whisper or think of a word with a similar meaning.
Many reasons saying Namaste might not feel suitable for you:
You need help understanding the intent and meaning of the word.
The use of this phrase feels inappropriate or culturally insensitive.
Your religious beliefs are not in line with this.
You need to correct speaking Sanskrit words.
You need to be more experienced to do Yoga.
Some teachers do not say Namaste
There are better ways to end a yoga class than Namaste for some instructors. They will complete the course by saying “thanks” or another similar phrase. Some teachers may also use a singing bowl, bell, or chime. Bikram teachers will often leave the room and wait to say something. Kundalini yoga practitioners end their practice with the Gurmukhi Mantra Satnam, translated as “I am Truth” or “My Essence Is Truth.” Kripalu instructors often say Jai Bhagwan: “May the Divine within you be victorious.”
What does Namaste mean to me
We asked yoga instructors and experts what they meant when they said Namaste after class. The instructors also shared their stories about how they began using Namaste and some advice and tips for students encountering this word for the first time.
Yoga Teacher Anne Marie Herring explains how she went from feeling cheesy to feeling deep respect after using Namaste during yoga class.
When I first began practicing Yoga, Namaste seemed disingenuous or cheesy. The teacher would explain that her highest self sees and respects my highest self. I was uncomfortable thinking she could speak to an aspect of me I did not even know existed.
After developing a consistent mediation practice, my feelings about using the word Namaste changed. Observing my thoughts and feelings from a non-judgemental place helped me better engage with myself and the world around me. When you watch internal dialogue, you are in a position of awareness or observation. We all possess non-judgemental consciousness, which we call our Higher Self. This way of looking at the mind lifts us from the daily role of habit and thought processes. When I hear the word Namaste and say it, I see it as a way to express gratitude and respect for the consciousness and pure awareness that has driven this universe long before our existence.
I encourage all teachers to use the word Namaste even if they receive funny looks from students. “A word that engages a student’s curiosity can lead them to yoga and deeper understanding.”
Kino MacGregor is an international yoga teacher and the host of the Yoga Inspiration Podcast. He believes you should use Namaste only with respect and devotion.
The term Namaste is used to start or end yoga classes. It would help if you respected its spiritual roots and Hindu origins. The word Namaste, unfortunately, has entered popular culture. The term is used casually without understanding its origins and the level of devotion required.
Using Namaste with respect when you end or start your yoga class is essential. Namaste can have a formal or spiritually serious origin and meaning that is sometimes lost when used casually. This is the highest form of Yoga. If you are genuinely bowing down to worship the eternal essence of another beAdoptingadopt a word because it sounds cool, exotic, or commodifies the meaning without respecting its spiritual I, that can be problematic.
My hands are in a prayer position with my thumbs facing the heart. I begin and end each class this way. Anjali Mudra is the name of this familiar greeting gesture in India and Asia. Anjali is a Sanskrit word that means a gesture of respect, blessing, and worship. Mudras are seals or signs. “The significance of this hand position can be compared to that of a lotus flower, which represents the beginning of awakening within the spiritual practitioner.”