Hands into prayer position in front of the heart, gently bowing the head down and saying “Namaste”. A common picture in yoga classes and I finish some of my classes with this greeting but what does it mean?
Namaste is a sankrit word. It can be split into namah, which means “salutation” and te, which translates as “to you”. Literally, “Salutation to you”.
I particularly like the translation “the highest in me salutes the highest in you.” This meaning elevates this simple gesture to another dimension, a dimension of peace and calm, in which we all recognise that there is good in all of us.
The highest in each of us is this part of us that is untouched by stress, fear, anxiety… It resides deep inside each of us, more often than not, hidden away so as not to get it hurt.
But this highest part of us is remarkably strong and we could all benefit from getting a bit more in touch with it. Wouldn’t it be amazing to live our lives from a position of calm, fulfilment, confidence in oneself and the world around us? The highest part of us lives in this state and we can access it through yoga and meditation, during a walk, while being involved in something that we truly enjoy. We have all done it. It is the state of flow where you feel that everything is right. It is the feeling that time has just flown by without a conscious thought stopping in your mind long enough to be noticed.
This feeling often happens without design but yoga and meditation are ways to get in touch with this highest part of you intentionally. It is part of the reason why you feel so good at the end of a class or meditation practice. You have touched this part of you that is always there, always calm
By concluding the class with Namaste, it is an affirmation that this highest in you is truly there, present in you, recognised by others.
So enjoy its presence, and until next time, Namaste.