What does Namaste mean?

You often hear it at the end of yoga classes. But what does it mean?

Namaste (pronounced Nah-mah-stay) is a Sanskrit work and is used as a salutation in India. It has many meanings and uses, including “hello” and “goodbye” in verbal communication. In written communication, it is used in a manner similar to how we use “sincerely”. In short, it is a respective way to acknowledge one another.

‘Nama’ means bow, ‘as’ means I, and ‘te’ means you. Namaste literally translates as “I bow to you” or is commonly referred to as “the divine in me honours the divine in you”

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.

At the end of class, the teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her students and her own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.