06 Feb Why We Say Namaste
Ever wondered why your Yoga teacher says ‘Namaste’ at the end of the class and people say it back? Well read on to find out…
Namaste is widely used throughout Yoga classes across the world. There are many different meanings and ideas behind the meaning of the word, so I have done some research to gain a deeper understanding of the different views, meanings and opinions on this very special word and bring them all to you in one blog post.
The different meanings of Namaste
- Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namasteliterally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
- ‘Namaste’ means ‘Hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Hindu – commonly used in the North of India.
- The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward their students.
- When you are saying ‘Namaste’ to someone you are basically saying ‘the divine in me, recognises and appreciates the divine in you. I honour the light, love, beauty and peace that exsists within you because it also exists within me. By sharing these things, we are the same and we are one.’
- It is about acknowledging that the person in front of you is another person that has a soul, a heart, feelings and thoughts just the same as you and you are showing a respect to that person and honouring their thoughts, feelings and emotions in that present moment.
How to perform namaste
- Traditionally, we place the hands together at the heart chakra, close the eyes, and bow the head. We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart.
- It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect.
- In the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture.
- In India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.
After much thought, I believe Namaste is a word which is a sign of respect and can be interpreted in a way that you feel fits with you and your beliefs and ideas. Personally, I always close my Yoga classes saying ‘namaste’ as a ‘well done, thank you for coming, you did amazingly and you are awesome’ gesture. How every you want to say it and for whatever reason, let it be heart filled and true to who you are.