You hear your teacher say it each class, and you repeat it back. But what does Namaste mean? The gesture namaste is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. 'Nama' means bow, 'as' means I, and 'te' means you. Therefore, namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you."
To perform namaste, we place the hands together at the heart, close the eyes, and bow the head. Although in the Western world the word namaste is usually spoken along with the gesture, in India it is understood that the gesture itself signifies namaste.
For a teacher and student, namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom. Ideally, namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of class. Usually, it is done at the end of class because the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful. The teacher initiates namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward his/her students and even his/her own teachers of the past. In return the students connect with their own lineage, allowing the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
In the hoopla of the holiday season we should remember to practice namaste with one another. We are all in this crazy thing called life together. Namaste and Happy Holidays from Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge!
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