What does Namaste mean?


Namaste! Photo credit: Molly Hahn – Buddha Doodles.


Namaste (pronounced: Nah-Mus-Tay) is a Sanskrit greeting used to acknowledge the divine in others as well as ourselves.

Nama means – Bow, as – I and te – You so it literally means I bow to You. The gesture of Namaste is rooted in the belief system that there is love and divinity within all of us and bowing to each other releases this energy from one person to another.

To perform Namaste, we bring our hands together at the heart (where all the good stuff resides), close our eyes and bow the head. As we close our eyes and bow our head, we are connecting with ourselves and tapping into that inner goodness within. As we recognize our own kindness, we wish that upon others (or to the one you are bowing to)

Whoa – Namaste means all of this…who knew right? But isn’t it great when we find that something so simple has so much meaning? What an easy way to be kind towards others!

This above action is done quite often at the end of yoga classes. Why does Namaste have special meaning in a yoga? It’s because it binds the teacher and the student together in a place that is free of ego and full of compassion. It is a way for the teacher to thank the students for being teachers. It is a way for the student to connect with themselves and be happy with their practice and kindle kindness. You’ll notice that typically, the teacher will initiate the bow and the students follow. At that one moment – they are all connected in a place that is just filled with good thoughts – even if it is for a brief moment.

The gesture of Namaste is rooted in the belief system that there is love and divinity within all of us.

How often do we get to just be in such a place where there is no judgement or ill thoughts towards others or ourselves? Very few! So really cherish those moments when you bow in a yoga class with your teacher or your students. It is a great space.

Here’s another quote that describes the full meaning of Namaste. I find it so beautiful. Thanks so much for reading!


I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells.

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, and of peace.

When you are in that place in you, I am in that place in me.

We are one


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6 Responses

  1. Love the quote much. Another way of looking at why we bring our hands tog in front of our heart in namaste — this is to awaken the divine (or positive, if that’s a bit too hippiehooley for you) energy in our heart chakra. When we bow, we typically touch the middle of our forehead to our palms to symbolise the opening of our third eye. Have found reading abt the 7 chakras to be very fascinating.

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