The Meaning of “Namaste”
What does Namaste mean? Yoga Journal expert and teacher Aadil Palkhivala explains the meaning behind the term.
RITA GENOAPR 21, 2017
Question: So, what does Namaste mean anyway?
My yoga teacher concludes every practice by saying “Namaste”, and I’ve always wanted to know what it really means.
Answer: Yoga teacher Aadil Palkhivala Weighs In
The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
Definition of Namaste
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namasteliterally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
How to make the Namaste gesture
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart chakra, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.
We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation