Namaste is a Sanskrit word that literally means “bow me you.” It’s commonly used as a greeting in yoga settings, and can be performed either verbally or non-verbally.
When namaste is spoken, it’s usually accompanied by a slight bow and the palms pressed together in front of the heart. This gesture is often referred to as anjali mudra.
Namaste can be used as both a hello and goodbye, but it’s more commonly used as a way to show respect or acknowledgement. It’s also seen as a sign of gratitude, humility, and reverence.
Although namaste is often associated with yoga, it’s actually a very ancient concept that predates the practice by thousands of years. The word namaste comes from the Sanskrit namas, which means “to bow,” and te, which means “to you.”
So when you say namaste, you’re essentially bowing to the other person and acknowledging their soul. In yoga, this is seen as a sign of respect for the teacher and the practice.
Namaste is also often used as a way to thank someone or express gratitude. It can be used to show appreciation for a kind gesture or act.
If you’re ever unsure about when to use namaste, err on the side of caution and use it sparingly. Overusing namaste can come across as insincere or even arrogant.
When in doubt, simply bowing with your hands pressed together in front of your heart is a gesture of respect that can be universally understood.