Doing a yoga class shall be your best bet to properly execute all the yogic poses from the beginner up to the advanced level. This way, you will secure yourself out from any injuries as you continue to bring balance in your mind and body.
Throughout the class, your yoga instructor may be uttering some terms without explaining its true meaning and origins— one of which is the word “namaste.”
Namaste is a gesture that is commonly used by your yoga partners and instructors to greet someone or to show some respect. This gesture is very contagious that even the newcomers of the class may adapt to it comfortably without knowing what it truly stands for.
In this section, we will learn how to make a namaste gesture, what does it mean to say namaste, and can we say namaste casually during the practice of yoga. But first, let us learn the namaste meaning, a genuine greeting to the world…
Namaste Meaning: Greet The World Genuinely
Namaste comes from the Sanskrit term, Nama means “bow,” and Te means “you”, which literally means “I bow to you” or “you bow to me”. Namaste is also known as Namaskar that is derived from a Sanskrit term, Namaha which means paying respect or the act of obeisance.
Namaste is a form of greeting used mostly in the Indian country. It is done both when greeting each other and upon departing. A slow bow often accompanies this gesture as the hands are pressed together, fingers pointing upwardly, positioned in front of the chest or near the heart. Along with the word “namaste” is said to the person who is greeted to or the person being departed from.
This kind of greeting acknowledges one spirit to another. Although namaste and namaskar may be the same, there is a distinct difference between them in the spiritual aspect. Namaskar has more sattvic— an adjective to classify something or someone, than the word namaste.
How to Do a Namaste Gesture
Now, we all know what the Namaste meaning is. And just like doing any yogic poses, there is also a proper way to do a Namaste greeting-gesture. In just two easy steps, you can greet the world genuinely with your Namaste greeting to your co-students and instructors! Here’s how:
1. First, gently press your hands together near your heart or in front of your chest.
2. Eyes closed, and slightly bow your head. Along with it say, ‘namaste.’
Or you can try the modified one by:
1. Navigate your pressed-hands in front of your third eye.
2. Bow your head as you slightly bring your hands down to your chest, and say ‘namaste.
In the Western Region, this gesture is usually done along with the word “Namaste.” On the other hand, in India, where it was founded, it is well understood that this gesture stands for Namaste, making it more unnecessary to utter the word while doing the action.
What Does It Mean to Say Namaste In Yoga
In yoga, saying Namaste is a form of deep respect. You navigate your hands at your heart to promote the heart chakra (energy). Doing a slight bow with the eyes closed helps the mind to focus and surrender to your inner-being. Moreover, you may consider the Namaste gesture to improve your meditation technique as Namaste promotes the heart chakra. When done with someone, it will make you feel like you have meditated but in a quick mode.
For a yoga instructor and student, the gesture of Namaste allows you to come together firmly to a state of awareness and timelessness, free from the ties of uncertainties. If this can be done with sincere intentions in the heart, and with a relaxed mind, for sure, a profound union of souls may take place.
Can You Say Namaste Casually
Ideally, the Namaste gesture should only be made both at the beginning and the end of the session. Generally, it is done at the end of the class because it is believed that the mind is less active, and the atmosphere in the room is more at peace.
Your yoga instructor initiates the Namaste gesture to symbolize gratitude and respect for his/her students who are patiently balancing with them throughout the class and to embody the true namaste meaning.