We may close our yoga practice with ‘Namaste.’ We may say ‘Namaste’ to each other, and accompany that word with a bow usually with palms pressed together at heart centre, or, my preference, with prayer hands moving from third eye to heart while I bow. There is no right and wrong here; do what’s right for you, and be guided by how you feel. What happens during this moment for you? What feelings and thoughts (or lack of) arise for you? What intention do you bring when you make this gesture and can you feel a reciprocated intention returning to you?
Personally, I am filled with peace, connection and gratitude during this precious moment. For me, ‘Namaste’ is a gesture that extends from teacher to student and vice versa. I also extend this sentiment to my teachers and their teachers all the way back to the practitioners, authors and pioneers, whom have passed the wisdom of yoga through the years and in various forms. I understand ‘Namaste’ to mean the spark of light (be it Self, soul, spirit, life force, divinity, universal oneness etc.) in me, acknowledges your light spark, and links us as beings connected by our shared humanity.
Let’s explore for a moment. According to my trusty dictionary:
namaste | ˈnäməˌstā |exclamation
‘a respectful greeting said when giving a namaskar’
‘another term for namaskar’
‘via Hindi from Sanskrit namas “bowing” + te “to you”’
namaskar |ˌnäməsˈkär|‘a traditional Indian greeting or gesture of respect, made by brining the palms together before the face or chest and bowing’
‘via Hindi from Sanskrit namaskāra, from namas ‘bowing’ + kāra ‘action.’
Outside of the yogic perspective, ‘Namaste’ can mean different things. For example, my friend from India said that in her culture ‘Namaste’ is a simple greeting, such as ‘Hi’ in English. Within the yogic perspective, ‘Namaste’ has many potential interpretations: a reflective moment, mini meditation, meditation to go, shared energy and connection.
Maybe experiment with Namaste moments, and see what arises for you, and notice what you receive.
Namaste to you, my friend.
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