Most yoga teachers begin or end the practice by saying Namaste. So, if you’ve may always wanted to know what does Namaste mean, this article is for you. Let’s break it down: NAMA means bow, AS means I, and TE means to you. Hence, it means I bow to you. However, the significance is much deeper. The belief is that each and every one of us has the divine within us. When we say it to each other, we are really acknowledging the light within us. The divine is within us present as a light in the heart chakra. In other words, it is an acknowledgement of the divine in one by the divine in the other.
In fact, the word is not exclusively a yoga. So, what does NAMASTE mean? Literally, NAMAH means salutation and TE translates to you. If you put it together, NAMASTE translates to salutation to you. Similarly, NAMASKAARA translates to I pay my salutations. For NAMASKAR translates to salutation and KAARA translated to doing. Some believe that NAMASKAARA should be used when addressing a large group of people and NAMASTE is a more intimate and personal greeting.
Often it is expressed while doing Anjali mudra. Explicitly, you place your hands together, palms touching, at heart center. Gently closing the eyes bow your head towards your heart chakra. Alternatively, you can also bring your hands in Anjali mudra to your forehead. Placing the hands at the third eye chakra bow your head and then bring the hands down to the heart chakra. This latter gesture expresses a profounder revered form of respect.
In the West, commonly the gesture is performed uttering the word Namaste. However, in India, the gesture alone carries the significance of the word Namaste. Consequently, it is unnecessary to say the word while performing the bowing gesture in the East.
When you bring your hands in Anjali mudra to the heart center, you are increasing the flow of light force. When you bow your head to your heart, you are surrendering to the divine. For this reason, you can perform the gesture by yourself to yourself during meditation. This mudra and gesture help you go deeper into the heart chakra.
During the yoga practice, the teacher and student come together dynamically to a place of assembly and timelessness. Performing the gesture frees the practitioners from the ties to their egos. When done with respect and connection of the heart chakras, the mind surrenders and a deep union of spirits flourishes.
In the Western world, the word has been taken to a new level and its usage has dramatically increased since the 1950s. Some yogis in India do not use the word namaste. Nonetheless, in the Western world the word is well-received as a greeting or salutation.
Preferably, Namaste should be performed both at the beginning and at the end of the practice. The teacher begins the practice with Namaste to signify the gratitude and appreciation towards others. Sometimes, teachers choose to only perform the gesture at the end of the practice because the energy in the room is more peaceful and the practitioners have a higher level of consciousness. The gesture is also a means to connecting and paying respects to the practitioner’s lineage. Mainly, the gesture helps to remind us all that we are one.
Last but not least, Namaste is an appreciation for the world surrounding us. The “divine in me honors the divine in you” references the divine transmission of the word and honors the person who is graced with your company.
Sense of purpose is the motivation that drives you toward a satisfying future. Hence, your sense of purpose helps you get the most of life and it helps you achieve what matters most to you. Most importantly, it feeds intrinsic motivation and it creates meaning from life. Purpose is our driver. Certainly, purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life. Our purpose is to help you find yours.
If you enjoyed, reading about What does Namaste mean, then here are some additional resources that you might find helpful: