Namaste : All of us who are familiar with Bollywood films have heard the word a countless time. It is almost equivalent to the word hello and symbolizes respect and courtesy in the region. However, this is not the only place you will get to hear the word. If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting a yoga class, you would have heard this world a lot many times too. It happens to be one of the favorite words of the yoga instructors and the yogis. The moment anyone enters the class, the word is spoken, especially before ending any session.
Namaste : The actual translation
As mentioned in the yoga journal, the actual translation of the word is derived by breaking it into three smaller words: name, se, te. “Name” means to bow, “Se” means I and “Te” means to you. So when it is read together, it means a way that would have me bow to you. In the Indian culture, it is a sign of respect and courtesy that one offers to the others. In yoga, the purpose is a little different, though.
In yoga, Namaste is not about bowing down to the other person but a way of saying that we welcome you and is considered as an act which depicts mutual respect. Yoga is about building a spiritual connection with our surroundings, our inner selves and those around us. Namaste is a way of helping us strengthen our bond with the spiritual world we want to build our connection with. Ending a class with this world helps us pay our tribute to all the positive sources of energy that surround us and accept their divinity. It is a way of accepting their supremeness to bring in more calm and harmony in our lives.Namaste gives us a sense of completion and allows us to reflect upon the bigger forces that surround us. On the whole, ending the yoga session with Namaste helps us realize that yoga goes beyond the barriers of language, country, and cultures and is a force that connects us all together.
The technique involves us bringing our hands together and clasping them as we would while saying a prayer. The hands are placed together in the center of the breastbone where the heart is. You then close your eyes and bow down your head trying to build a better connection with the divine that resides in you with the divine that surrounds you. Some instructors use both the gesture and the word to end the class while some keep it to the gesture only.
So the next time you take part in a yoga class, remember to end the session with a Namaste to have your instructor know that you are grateful for the class and are ready to leave the class in a peaceful state. It will help you build a better connection with the instructor and the other students as well.