6/100 ~ Namaste. What does it mean and why do we say it at the end of yoga class?
Namaste is a Sanskrit word, and Sanskrit is the ancient language of yoga. Its words have very deep meaning and are sometimes challenging to translate verbatim. Essentially, the word Namaste is a greeting or gesture of respect.
At the end of yoga classes that I teach, I always take a moment to invite my students to feel gratitude for their practice and for our time together. With palms touching and hands placed in front of hearts, I offer the salutation of “Namaste” as a way to honor my students in the purest sense of love and compassion. Some teachers may say, “The divine light within me bows to the divine light within each of you. Namaste.” Students traditionally repeat the salutation, Namaste, as an expression of respect and reverence for their teacher.
Now, if this seems a little woo-woo or like yoga is crossing the line of religion, I would invite you to consider it as a very pure and simple gesture of love, compassion and respect for your fellow human. Namaste is simply another way of saying, “I love, honor and respect you for being YOU!” And there’s nothing wrong with that.