Namaste is a word that has become extremely popular among new age spirituality and yoga practitioners. But what does Namaste mean?
Avid readers of LifeAdvancer will have probably at some point in their lives attended a yoga class (and hopefully regularly) and heard this spoken at the end of a class, normally with palms together pressed to the chest with a slight bow of the head, but did you ever asked yourself: what does Namaste mean?
It is a way for Hindus to greet one another, no matter age or gender. The word comes from Sanskrit when we break it up, namah+te= I bow to you. Beautifully it also can be interpreted as na ma=, not mine. Meaning that we wish to reduce our own ego in the presence of someone else.
There are a number of translations of what it means but my personal favourite is “the light in me, honours the light in you”. It is a really nice way of saying hello.
What does Namaste mean in yoga?
In yoga, when we say Namaste, we are sending out peace and spirituality in the hope that we will receive something positive back. It is said at the end of a yoga class to thank the teacher for what they have given us in that hour. This word is not strictly related to yoga however, it’s a word to be said to anyone who deserves respect. Whether that is an elder, a family member, a neighbour but someone who we feel deserves our respect.
What does Namaste mean in spirituality?
Spiritually, Namaste means that the life force within myself is the same in all and everything. During prayers, Hindus will close their eyes to look into their inner spirit. Some may utter names of Gods or just the common “om shanti” in Hindu chants.
During class, when we utter Namaste, it reminds us to acknowledge the other students in our class as well as our teacher. It reminds us that we are all in the class together, and for a deeper meaning, we are all in this world together so we should go about respecting one another.
How to practice Namaste:
- Place the two palms of the hands together.
- Place the folded palms in front of the chest.
- Whilst speaking the word Namaste, keep the hands on the chest and slightly bow your head.
The beautiful thing about this word is that it has so much meaning, from a simple greeting to acknowledging our existence within our yoga class and the world. You can even live your life with the principles of Namaste. During a yoga class, Namaste creates a union of all our spirits which in turn creates a moment of inner peace within us all. If we allow it, we can let this ripple out into our relationships, family, and friendships.
It can help remove the tensions and conflicts in your life in these other areas. You could try using the principles of Namaste with your partner. Take a moment to tell them that you really see them, it will make them feel so special and create a really special moment between the two of you.
“The light in me honours the light in you”
By Holly W.
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