What does namaste?

What does Namaste mean? Discover our article to know everything about this gesture of respect whose meaning is often little known.


What does Namasté mean?

The word "Namaste", of Sanskrit origin, is actually composed of two different words: "Namas" and "Te".

"Namas" translated literally means "to fold" and "Te" means "for you". Freely translated, Namasté means to bow to the other who is bowing.

We see this clearly reflected in Buddhism. People here use namaste as a way of greeting each other and as a sign of balance.

Namaste is also widely used outside of Buddhism, for example in closely related Hinduism.




What does Namaste mean for Hindus?

Hindus greet each other with the gesture Namaste. It is a sign of respect for the person or for the gods.

With Hindus, it is customary for you to greet each other by putting your palms together. You then place your hands at the heart area and bend your head a little.

You can also say the word Namaste, but it is not obligatory. Sometimes only the gesture is used as a greeting. Or as a way to respect the gods or another person.


What does Namaste mean in the western world?

Thus, Namaste can be a way to greet the gods from a religious point of view. For example from Hinduism. However, this gesture is often used as a greeting in Western countries, even if they are not Hindu at all.

What does Namaste really mean in the Western world? In countries like France, you can also send this greeting to another person without attaching a religious image to it.

You respect each other in this way. Norms and values are very important here. Mutual acceptance and appreciation play a big role.

The greeting that Namaste means to the other person usually translates as : " The light in me welcomes the light in you. "

However there are many other translations of Namasté, here are some of them:

• I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
• My soul recognizes your soul.
• When you and I bow before our true nature, we become one.
• I honor the place in you that is the same as the place in me.
• We are the same, we are one.
• I bow to the place in you that is love, light and joy.




What does Namaste mean in Yoga

This greeting is often used in different yoga classes. It is used, for example, to greet those present. But it can also be used in conclusion to thank people for being there.

Putting your hands together also means you are in balance. The Namaste gesture represents the belief that there is a divine spark in each of us, which is found in the heart chakra. The gesture is a recognition of the soul in one by the soul in the other.

In the world of yoga and meditation, gathering the hands in front of the chest is also called "Anjali Mudra".

You hereby indicate that in all that you are, you show respect for the other. In a balanced way.


Pronounce Namaste or remain silent?

There are no real rules about it. For example, in the West, the word "Namaste" is usually pronounced when performing the gesture. Whereas in India, it is understood that the gesture itself means Namaste, and therefore it is not necessary to say the word while bowing.

When the yoga teacher says this, do you remain silent or respond? That is entirely up to you. You must do what makes you feel good.

Many people say it to the teacher, but some people prefer to remain silent and feel it. The choice is yours and there is no right or wrong.


Now that you have a little more knowledge about what Namaste means and what it stands for, you may be wondering : Why have I already greeted with this gesture without knowing what it was?

The answer often lies in the feeling that Namaste evokes. You feel this feeling within you but also between you when you make the gesture to someone.

Namaste is a very natural gesture and the bow that accompanies it is a clear sign of respect. Giving and receiving it feels good because you are seen and it is a clear sign that you can be there.

This allows you to feel more connected to others and the world around you. Namaste also has a very strong energetic power. When you bring your palms closer together, you feel a certain tension in your energies.

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When you sit in a circle and chant the AUM mantra together, you feel the same feeling, which is often even stronger. When you hold hands, you feel a strong energy flowing through your body.

Namaste is therefore much more than a symbolic gesture, it is a natural gesture that is a sign of respect in every possible way.


How to do the Namaste gesture?

The Namaste gesture is most often composed of 3 actions:

• Place your hands together at the heart chakra
• Close your eyes
• Tilt your head

This can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye chakra, tilting the head, then bringing the hands towards the heart.

We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of divine love. Tilting the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart.

One can also make the Namaste sign to oneself during a meditation session to go deeper into the heart chakra.





After reading our article you will know a little more about this gesture of respect as well known as unknown.

You will finally be able to understand its meaning when your teacher welcomes you at your next yoga class.