2. Origin Namaste
The Spiritual Science Research Foundation traces the term namastē, or namaskār, to a widely used greeting and farewell phrase practiced in India and throughout the Indian subcontinent. When greeting each other, individuals will typically bow slightly, clasping their hands with palms touching and fingers pointing upwards at heart or mid-chest level.
The placement of the hands is important because the hands are held at the position of the heart chakra, or Namaskar Mudra. Namaste and namaskar are often used synonymously as a customary expression of greeting and farewell intended to convey respect (although namaskar conveys a deeper spiritual reverence), blessing, and peace.
3. Namaste in practice
The namaste spoken in yoga classes is most often used as a respectful conclusion or end of class. Used in these terms, Namaste often symbolizes a « thank you », with the teacher saying it to the class while bowing and the students responding.
Your teacher can also add a variation to the separation by saying something like « the light in me bows to the light in you », as they bow in Namaste with their hands clasped at the heart chakra ( Namaskar Mudra) followed by the third eye or forehead (Anjali Mudra or Pranamasana).
4. Perform Namaste
To perform a Namaste salutation or parting, bring your hands in front of your chest, or heart charka, palms together and fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Close your eyes, tilt your head slightly.
If you wish, you can also raise your hands in front of the third eye (or Pranamasana) and bow slightly, then lower your hands in front of the heart (or Namaskar Mudra) to show deeper respect to your yoga teacher.