The ULU Yoga Blog

Namaste
Namaste

Namaste means “I bow to you” in Sanskrit. It is a common greeting used in India and the eastern world, particularly in the yoga and meditation communities. It means “I acknowledge your presence and I pay respect to you.” It is not a religious term, but a cultural one and has no specific meaning, but is used in different contexts. The word itself is a combination of the words “Nam” and “Astu.” The word “Nam” is a Sanskrit root meaning “to bow.” The word “Astu” is a Sanskrit compound verb that means “to bow to,” “to pay respect to,” or “to acknowledge.” It is used as a prefix for words relating to respect.

Namaste Meaning – What is the Essence of Namaste?

The meaning of Namaste is to bow, acknowledging the other person and their presence. When you greet someone with Namaste you are acknowledging that they exist and respect them enough to honor them with a bow. There is no specific meaning attached to the word “Namaste” in general, but it has different meanings depending on context. In India, it can be used as a greeting or farewell. For example, if someone is leaving a place of worship or temple, they would say “Namaste” to everyone there. It is also used in some parts of India as an expression for hello or goodbye.  In the yoga community, it is often seen as an expression for prayer before and after a class. The yogi will bow at the beginning of class and then again before they leave. It can also be used as an expression for gratitude or appreciation; for example a chef might say “Namaste” to the people sitting at the table about to eat their meal before serving them food. The word itself is a combination of the Sanskrit words “Nam” and “Astu”.

Namaste as a reference to Light

In a yoga setting, Namaste may be used as a form of salutation to the light from within. The word “Namaste” can also be translated to mean “The light in me recognizes the light in you.”

Namaste as a Buddhist term

This word can be used in the Buddhist community as a term of respect. In Buddhism, “Namaste” is a gesture to show reverence and devotion to a revered person or object. It is often used when making an offering or before eating. There are many stories about how this greeting came about. One story says that Gautama Buddha once held up his right hand with palm facing outwards and fingers pointing upwards in salute to the gods and said “Namastey” which means “I bow down to you.” Another story tells of Shiva, who has studied yoga and tantra, teaching “Namastey” to humanity as a gesture taken from the god Vishnu’s blessing with his four arms raised above his head while seated on Garuda, “the king of birds.”  Yoga practitioners, who use it as a form of greeting during sessions, may also use it at the end of each session. Buddhists typically hold their palms together in front of their chest for the bow and some say “Sawādākhām” which means “I wish you well.”

Namaste and its Meaning in Hinduism

Namaste is used in a variety of religious contexts including Hinduism. In Hinduism, it is traditionally practiced before beginning a ritual or ceremony. It is usually practiced with hands pressed together and the head bowed down as a sign of respect and honor for the higher self. In Hinduism, Namaste is typically used as an expression of greetings and feelings of high esteem. It can also be translated to mean “I bow to you” or “I pay my respects to you.” The word Namaste has roots in ancient Sanskrit culture and has been passed on as an ancient greeting that has evolved over time into what it means today. It originated as a customary greeting in India but today its meaning has spread around the world.

Female trainer with class standing in namaste pose at yoga class
Female trainer with class standing in namaste pose at yoga class

Namaste and its Meaning in Yoga and Western Spirituality

The term “Namaste” has become more popular in Western Spirituality. It is used as a greeting in the yoga and meditation communities, but can also be said before or after a prayer. It is used to acknowledge another person and to pay respect to them. It does not have an explicitly religious meaning, but can be used in different contexts. This greeting is often used at the end of yoga classes or at the end of a meditation session where you are acknowledging yourself and paying respects to others present with you.

Namaste and its Meaning in the Eastern World

Namaste is a popular greeting in the Eastern world. It is used to greet those you meet, and it is an acknowledgement of the other person’s worth or value. In Eastern philosophy, there is a belief that by acknowledging another person or their presence one acknowledges their own existence. In the Indian culture, people use Namaste as a way to show respect for each other and for the divine. It is a common greeting when meeting someone, or saying goodbye.  Namaste can be translated loosely to “I bow to you” in Sanskrit. It means “I bow before your divinity” or I honor you.

Conclusion

Namaste is an important part of Eastern culture. It is a greeting, a farewell and a prayer for peace, happiness and understanding. It is not an expression of servitude or inferiority. It can be an expression of humility as well as gratitude. The meaning of Namaste is simply “I honor the divinity within you” or “I honor the spirit in you.”  Namaste is a greeting, a farewell and a prayer for peace, happiness and understanding. It is not an expression of servitude or inferiority. It can be an expression of humility as well as gratitude. The meaning of Namaste is simply “I honor the divinity within you” or “I honor the spirit in you” or “I honor the light in you”… Namaste!

Ulu Contributor

Ulu Contributor

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