Yoga Lingo Series: Namaste

Lets begin at the end.  During the closing of practice, you often hear the instructor say “Namaste”, followed by everyone bringing their palms together and bowing their heads. Do you join in? You are more than welcomed to of course, but if you are not comfortable no worries. Namaste derives from Sanskrit and literally translates to ‘bowing to you.’ This word is commonly used as a respectful form of greeting or goodbye (similar to Aloha). It is typically spoken and simultaneously performed with the palms touching gesture, but it may also be spoken without acting it out as well as performed wordlessly; all three carry the same meaning. Namaste does have a deeper spiritual significance, in that it recognizes the belief that the life force, the self, or any divine spirit, is within all of us. Thus we acknowledge this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honor the light within the person we meet. (Many cultures have their own way of saying a similar thing, such as ‘peace be with you’, or even ‘may the force be with you’).