Namaste in Yoga

What is the True Meaning of Namaste?

It’s a common tradition everywhere to greet people whenever we meet them. Nah-mas-tey is one such popular salutation form which is no longer confined to India. But it might raise the question what the meaning of Namaste is?  Namaste means “I bow to you.” In deeper terms, it means “the universe dwelling in me pays courtesy to world dwelling in you.”

The beauty of this greeting form lies in its delivery. To perform Namaste, we place hands together at the heart chakra (at the center), close the eyes and bow the head slightly. The real essence of Namaste resides in shrugging off the enmity and believing that the soul of other person is superior. We greet Namaste by forgetting all the prior judgments and keeping our egoism at a stretch.

Significance of Namaste in Yoga

Yoga is a 5000 years old discipline, developed by Indus- Saraswati civilization in northern India. Besides Indians, approx 74% of Americans are performing yoga today. But the custom that might raise our eyebrows is what does Namaste mean in yoga? Namaste in yoga is greeted two times, one while starting yoga session and another at the time of closure.

In the beginning, we greet Namaste to welcome every soul with an open heart. It means the divine spark in me bows to the divine spark in you.  At closure, we utter Namaste to thank everyone for performing yoga with a quiet conscience. The practice of performing namaste in yoga implies that we all are one regardless of any differences.

Even the yoga instructor does not believe himself to be better than his students. Namaste in yoga can be linked to religion also. As a common belief, there is God in every person, while performing namaste one soul greets another soul with a pure heart.

Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation “The Advanced Form of Namaste in Yoga.”

According to an American fitness expert, Carol Krucoff Sun salutations can energize you even on the darkest, coldest winter day. Sun salutation is the advanced form of namaste in yoga.  The traditional Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) involves the sequence of 12 yoga poses.

It is the mother of all major scale exercises which balances the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of an individual. Besides the health benefits, it’s an opportunity to express gratitude to the Sun for the life we are living. Surya Namaskar is the advanced form of namaste, and there is science behind performing this.

It is done before sunrise, and one needs to synchronize all movements with inhalations and exhalations. Hand movements play a significant role in each and every pose, and even the first pose starts with performing namaste. Many renowned fitness experts claim this advanced form of namaste not just keeps us fit, but it adds the glow to our skin depriving the age factor taking its toll.

Absence of Physical Contact in Namaste

Even the Japanese form of salutation, bow and hand wave has origin from Hindu form of namaste. Both the greeting forms lack physical contact, and there is science behind it. The human body is comprised of tremendous energy. It depends on the individual what kind of power he generates positive or negative? Physical contact raises the ease of flow of negative energies between two people.

Since there is no physical contact, the ability of one person to affect another negatively is minimized to a larger extent. In Namaste we do not greet a body, we greet a divine soul, and that’s why the impact of negative energies is almost negligible.

Some Dos and Don’ts in Namaste

  • Always greet Namaste with a pure heart, keeping the ill feelings towards another person at a distance.
  • Never hassle and utter namaste. The right way to perform Namaste is humbly completing the whole steps to greet a divine soul.
  • One should not consider Namaste a mere salutation form.
  • Remember the God you believe in while performing namaste, as you are welcoming a soul from a soul within you.
  • Do not hold any object while performing namaste and utter hurriedly, as doing so means your hands are not in perfect Namaskar Mudra.

We are one!


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