You say, “hello”, I say, “Namaste”.
“Namaste” is a greeting you often hear yogis say to each other. When I started taking yoga classes the teacher began and ended each class with “Namaste”. After which all the students would bow and repeat. After a while I wanted to understand the meaning of the word. What was it that I was saying? Is it religious, or just some hippy dippy thing that people in yoga class say?
The Sanskrit meaning is quite simple. Namah, to “bow” or “salute” and te, “to you”. Simple but powerful, It is not the simple translation of the word that is so meaningful, it is the meaning we bring to the word. A slightly more involved translation “the inner light in me bows to the inner light in you.” Here inner light could mean soul, divine spark, the place in your heart where love, peace and wisdom reside, your higher self!
When you would like to greet someone with Namaste: First, bring your hands to your heart in a prayer like gesture (anjali mudra). Close your eyes and bow your head softly. You may say “Namaste”. In India the gesture alone means Namaste and does not need to be spoken. You may also bring your hands to your forehead first and then to the heart. This gesture has even deeper meaning. By bringing the third eye, the seat of wisdom and the heart, the seat of compassion together, can you think of a better way to great someone.
Meanings and interpretation
As we see, Namaste holds with it the spirit of your intention. As a yoga teacher, Namaste at the start of a yoga class is much more than just a greeting. Namaste is a gesture of respect and thanks to the students for coming together to practice. At the end of class Namaste is an expression of gratitude for all the students efforts.
Aadil Palkhivala wrote: The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward the students and our own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
Bruno Circolo © 2013