namaste – what does it mean?

If you go to a yoga class, you’ll most likely hear the teacher say “Namaste” at some point. If you’ve travelled to India, the home of yoga, you will hear the greeting widely used.

But what does it mean?

Literally, it means, “I bow to you”. It also means the “may the light in me honour the light in you”.

Yoga is about connecting the breath to the body, the body to the mind and the mind to the heart. According to yoga philosophy, the light in the heart of each of us is the same, connected to the divine (and I will leave that to you to ponder on, depending on your own beliefs).

From our first breath at birth till our last at death, we all breathe. The breath is our life force which connects our body to the mind and to our light within.

As we all breathe, we can all practise yoga to unite our body and mind and also connect with our own unique light within and, as a flower blooms in the sun, allow that light to shine forth on our journey through life.

In saying “Namaste”, we are respecting each other as the individuals we really are. I think the more we use it, while understanding its true meaning, the better our lives can be.

May the light in me honour the light in you.


©  Sarah Swan  (June 2016)

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