Namaste is a common greeting in yoga. What does it mean to say “Namaste”?  Directly translated, it means ‘the divine in me honors the divine in you’.

The literal translation of namaste in Sanskrit is ‘Nama’(to bow), ‘As’ (I), and ‘Te’(you). When you bow, you surrender your head to your heart.

At the end of my yoga, I instruct my class to place their hands together at heart chakra, bowing our heads, closing our eyes and saying “Namaste”. This is a deep form of respect. In the West “namaste” is spoken with the bowing gesture. In India, the gesture itself signifies “Namaste”. It is not necessary to utter the word while bowing. I honor this spoken gesture at the end of my classes when the energy is the room is peaceful and the mind is still quiet.

Namaste reminds me and others on their mats, that we are all together for a deeper purpose. We are reminded of gratitude and looking at the bigger picture. We are all learning a little about ourselves, what we really feel, and maybe what direction you want to take in life. When you hear ‘trust your gut feeling’, you are making choices from your heart with core meaning, not letting our heads get in the way.

When a person greets another with “Namaste”, there is a definite spiritual emotion transferred. You create a vibration to the receiving person by sending positive energy. Your heart centers are connecting during the greeting exchange. In India, it is appropriate to use this gesture when greeting family, friends, and colleagues.

This positive energy creates a positive power of sharing. Namaste should only be said in a positive manner. A positive aura is sent. With this gesture, always remember to gently touch your fingertips together.

We occasionally need to step back, truly acknowledge those around us and just be present. It definitely takes practice. The end of yoga class is a perfect time. Eventually, you may be able to tap into this calming class memory when you might need to…recognizing the meaning of Namaste.

Namaste may help change how to react to your everyday challenges, how you react to work situations, even how you see your family and friends. The vibrations keep flowing. Namaste can be ‘your moment’ of inner peace and reflection.

I bow to you is telling someone that you are acknowledging them as they are. Just looking someone in the eye means you are consciously seeing them. It’s not physical. We are all with each other at this time, being present…

I honor those in my class…namaste is my thank you to the world created and the world around us.


-Daphne LeMay