Namaste is a Sanskrit word that means “the divine in me salutes the divine in you.” It’s often used at the end of yoga classes to signify well-being, relaxation and peace.

“Namaste” is a Sanskrit word that means “I bow to you.” It’s often used in yoga and meditation. The word namaste has been adopted by many cultures and religions, but it originally comes from Hinduism. Read more in detail here: what does namaste mean spiritually.


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If you only had thirty seconds:

The term Namaste is undoubtedly familiar to you even if you have never attended a yoga lesson.

Yoga practitioners often use the salutation Namaste to convey respect and thanks to their instructor or to meet one another in contemporary yoga culture.

Read on to discover:

  • the importance and meaning of Namaste
  • how the meaning of Namaste varies between India and the West
  • if reciting Namaste offends you

1/6 What does namaste signify in a religious context?

Namaste is a two-word phrase. Namah and te both have the meanings “bow,” “obeisance,” “reverential greeting,” and “adoration,” respectively. Namaste, then, literally translates as “I bow to you.”

In Hinduism, the phrase “Namaste” also has a spiritual meaning that expresses the conviction that the Divine, also known as God or Atman, unites all beings into one. Namaste is a greeting that expresses this sense of unity by stating, “The sacred in me acknowledges the sacred in you.”

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2/6 Is namaste a greeting or an exit?

In India, the salutation Namaste is used as a hello, but it’s also typical to see individuals utter it as a goodbye.

Namaste is used somewhat differently from “hello” in English. It is meant to express respect for elders and those higher in the hierarchy, such teachers, and is seen as formal.

In India and Nepal, the salutation Namaskar is used to welcome people and senior citizens.

3/6 What does namaste mean to yoga instructors?

The term “Namaste” is now often used in English. Although it still has the same spelling, the word has changed in meaning and pronunciation over the last ten years.

Namaste is often pronounced as nah-mah-stay, but in Sanskrit, it is pronounced as num-us-teh [nmste], with a softer t at the end.

The phrase “the light in me celebrates the light in you” or “the divine in me acknowledges the divine in you” has come to be used interchangeably with the word “namaste” in Western culture. Yoga instructors use Namaste at the conclusion of class as a time for reflection, thanks, and appreciation. It is often followed by the anjali mudra. It has evolved into a means of fostering good energy among all of the students in the class and recognizing the bond you’ve all built together.

Are you curious to know more about Namaste? Check out this article regarding the definition of Namaste.

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4/6 What do you say in response to namaste?

Saying Namaste back to the other person is the appropriate answer to the salutation.

This formal greeting in Hindi is used when you want to say hello to someone who is older than you. For instance, it’s customary to say “Namaste” while greeting family members and dignitaries.

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5/6 How is the Namaste symbol made?

Namaste is traditionally spoken with hands clasped together, palms touching, fingers pointed upward, and thumbs positioned near to the chest. Ajali mudra is the name of the gesture, and Pranamasana, or prayer pose, is the name of the standing position in which it is performed.

Is namaste, a yoga salutation, cultural appropriation?

There are differing views on whether or not saying Namaste at the conclusion of a yoga lesson is improper and rude.

The phrase “Namaste” is twisted out of context and used for whatever individuals want it to signify in the United States, according to certain yoga history scholars and local Indians. For those for whom Namaste genuinely has a religious meaning and importance, this is not just tacky but also potentially very painful.

Saying namaste at the conclusion of a yoga class, for instance, is considered a prime example of cultural appropriation by Susanna Barkataki, author of Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. Susanna claims that western yoga instructors are attempting to portray yoga traditions while failing to comprehend and incorporate the tradition’s foundations into contemporary practice.


However, several well-known Indian Americans, like Deepak Chopra, use the current version of Namaste without thinking it is improper or disrespectful.

Is namaste appropriate during yoga?

Whether you say Namaste at the conclusion of your yoga session is entirely up to you.

Although I personally choose not to say Namaste, I think there is nothing wrong with doing so if you honestly feel like lowering your head and thanking your instructor at the conclusion of class and if this term has a particular significance to you.

Then then, Susanna Barkataki has several fantastic alternatives for the phrase if you use Namaste just because everyone else is doing it.

Namaste is a Sanskrit word that means “the divine in me recognizes the divine in you.” It is often used as a greeting, typically translated to “Namaste” in English. Reference: what language is namaste.

  • what to say instead of namaste
  • is namaste offensive
  • how to pronounce namaste
  • what does namaste in bed mean
  • namaste yoga class
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