What does that even mean? That’s what I wondered when I started taking yoga. I mean, I’d heard “Namaste” but what did it mean? I liked when the instructors closed their class with it because they said it so nicely–lovingly, really.
I wasn’t going to ask but then one of them said it meant, basically, “I see the light in you.” She said it was a recognition of a person’s spirit or joy or whatever you wanted that light to be. She also said that we could respond back to her when she said it, if we wanted to.
Considering how amazing I always felt at the end of class, it seemed rude to NOT respond in kind.
When I started doing more yoga at home, I still closed my practice with a Namaste to myself. I guess, out of habit, it seemed weird to not end that way. Also, what could possibly be wrong with recognizing the light in myself?
I know language is dynamic and the original meaning of Namaste has been co-opted into slang terms and pop culture, but I still wanted to know if there was more to it than ” I see the light in you.”.
Everything I found, said Namaste (NAH-mah-stay), basically, means:
- I bow to you. / I bow to the god within you. / I bow to the divine in you.
- I honor the place in you which is of love, truth, light, and peace.
- The spirit within me salutes the spirit in you. / I honor the spirit in you that is also in me. / The Spirit within me honors and respects the Spirit within you.
- The Divine wisdom in me recognizes and acknowledges the Divine wisdom in you.
- I honor the sacredness and equality in us all.
- The Light in me sees the Light in you, and all I can do is bow. / The Divine light in me acknowledges the Divine light in you.
- Combined with the gesture of prayer hands to the heart chakra, it represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us. It is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
All the definitions are pretty similar. And pretty great, I think. The essence of the phrase is simply that the best part of me wishes you well – in every way.
Namaste, Salty friends. Namaste.