General Mish Mash


namaste word 2

I must confess that following my first yoga session last week of a six-week beginner course, I left not knowing what the word ‘Namaste’ meant.  I had some ideas but wasn’t sure.  There were lovely white wooden Namaste signs around the room and I was curious to understand its true meaning … so I’ve been researching.

I found a few slightly different worded meanings but all basically meant the same thing.  Here is the most consistently quoted meaning I found.

I honour the place in you

In which the whole Universe dwells.

I honour the place in you

which is of love, of truth, of light

and of peace.

When you are in that place in you,

and I am in that place in me,

we are one.

namaste gesture

A little more background info:  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. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”  In India, namaste is an everyday greeting, akin to hello. It’s also a valediction – a way of saying goodbye. It literally means “I bow to you”, and is usually accompanied by the hand gesture.

The hand gesture – placing the palms of the hands together at the heart centre – is also know as anjali mudra and is usually accompanied by slightly bowing the head. It can also be done by first placing the hands to the “third eye”, or between the eyebrows, then taking them back down to the heart. This is a deep acknowledgement of respect – both to the person it’s bestowed upon and for the person doing the bestowing. In fact, simply using the hand gesture implies the word namaste – no words need to be spoken.

A deeper meaning of namaste, though, can be inferred from “I bow to you”, to “I bow to the divinity within you from the divinity within me”. Sometimes you’ll hear it defined as “The light in me recognises the light in you”, or “The highest in me recognises the highest in you”.

Whichever definition appeals to you, it is used to honour both the giver and the receiver.  In a yoga class, it’s used to honour the teacher, ourselves and the tradition that has been passed down through all the yoga teachers who have gone before.

I’m so glad I now understand the meaning of the word Namaste and I think it’s meaning is beautiful!
namaste meaning
Until next time …. Namaste!
Linking up today with My Home Truths‘ – I Must Confess

16 replies »

  1. What a GREAT post !!! I have used Namaste for a long time without knowing the exact meaning. I knew that it was along the lines of honouring each other but didn’t know exactly what it meant !
    Thanks so much for sharing that – have the best week !


  2. wow thanks for sharing. i have been to a few yoga classes over the year (not many, but a few!) and haven’t really thought about the word, but what a beautiful word meaning. It is truly peaceful. ox Aroha


    • The meaning of the word turned out to be more beautiful than I expected! I did a little bit of Yoga when I was at high school and found it easy and relaxing. At my age now it is a lot harder than I remembered but then my body is a lot older now *ho hum*. I’m looking forward to improving and becoming more flexible and relaxed 🙂


  3. I used to do a bit of yoga before I had ankle biters. I really liked it. These days I wouldn’t know a downward dog from a dagwood dog, but maybe I’ll get back into it one day.