Do you conclude many of your classes by saying "Namaste"? But what does it mean and why do we say it?
The word Namaste, is a customary Hindu greeting. In Hindu, it is made of the words "Nama" meaning bow, "As" meaning I, and "Te" which means you. Therefore, the literal translation means "I bow to you".
In yoga, the gesture "Namaste", usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together represents the belief that there is a divine light within each of us, located at the heart chakra. This greeting is therefore, an acknowledgement of one light to another light, or from one soul, to another soul.
"The light in me honours the light within you"
For students and teachers, Namaste allows the two to come together as equals, to express gratitude for assistance, energy and wisdom, offered and given, and to thank the other person.
How to Namaste
Bringing the hands together in prayer to heart centre. By doing this, you increase the flow of good energy and reminds the space and and those in it of the good intentions set in the practice. The eyes can close and option to bring the thumbs to press against the forehead (third eye). You bow and thank the the instructor, the student and those around for their energy and acknowledges the divine light within them.
When to use Namaste in a practice
Namaste can be used at the start of the class or at the end or both. Many teachers choose to use it at the end of practice because the mind and energy is less active. The teacher can use namaste at the end of practice as a symbol of gratitude and respect to the students in the class, and the students can do the same for their teacher. It is a nice closing practice to seal the end of class.