What is “Namaste”?
Does your yoga teacher start and/or end each class by saying “Namaste”? The gesture Namaste is an acknowledgment of the soul in one person by the soul in another.
Definition of Namaste
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
How to Make the Namaste Gesture
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart chakra (centre of your chest), close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye (centre of your forehead), bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart.
This is a deep form of respect. In the UK, the word “Namaste” is usually spoken in with the gesture. In India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and so it is not necessary to say the word while bowing.
Namaste allows two individuals to come together to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego. It should be done with feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered.
When to incorporate Namaste into your practice
Ideally, Namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of class. Usually, it is done at the end of class because the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful. The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her students and her own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with the others in the room and those they have practiced Yoga with previously.