You often hear it at the end of yoga classes, and I usually sign my blog posts with this word. But what does it mean, anyway?
Namaste (pronounced Nah-mah-stay) is used as a salutation in India and other countries in the East. I even heard it spoken in my non yoga travels to Thailand a few years ago. Namaste is similar, in a way, to “Aloha” in Hawaii. It has many meanings and uses, including “Hello” and “Goodbye” in verbal communication. In written communication it is used in a manner similar to how we use “Sincerely.” In short, it is a considerate way to acknowledge and pay respect to another.
Namaste is a Sanskrit word that has been given many meanings, and I encourage you to find one that works for you and make it your own. Here are some I’ve heard often.
- The spirit in me honors the spirit in you.
- The teacher in me acknowledges the teacher in you.
- The light in me sees the light in you.
And if you attend a yoga class and are uncomfortable saying “Namaste?” Then please feel free to refrain from saying it. Simply holding a “Thank you” in your heart for your fellow yogis and your practice is perfect!
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