Namaste (pronounced Nah ma stay) is a
Sanskrit word, the classical language of India.
Literally, “namaha” means “to bow,” and “te”
means “to you.” Namaste is a salutation of
respect and gratitude. It can be used as a
greeting and/or farewell. In the West, we
typically close the yoga class with this word
and a bow of the head, when the energy of
the room is most peaceful.
We can say the word, Namaste, and make the
gesture, or simply make the gesture. Hands
are held at the heart center, palms together,
fingers pointed upwards, and thumbs touching
the chest. It resembles the hand position used
for Christian prayer. The eyes close, and the
head bows. Prayer hands may be raised from
the chest to the space between the eyebrows,
known as the “third eye.” This is a deeper
display of respect and gratitude.
There are many interpretative meanings of
the word, Namaste. My favorite is, “The light in
me honors the light in you.” Ultimately, the use
of Namaste symbolizes that we are all connected
in oneness, when we come from our hearts
rather than our ego driven self.