Yoga sessions use the namaste pose as a grounding position to initiate the practice, Namaste got its global recognition through popular media as a greeting expression. In the Indian subcontinent, Hindu and Buddhist territories have been practicing it for ages as a casual yet respectful way of greeting others; especially senior adults. Namaste as a gesture gets practiced in most South Asian countries as well. The style and tone of Namaste are quite warm and friendly as it is done with the mind surrendered and a deep thoughtful feeling in the heart.
This rather generous salutation, showcasing regard and adoration, signifies “I respectfully bow to you”. When you do a Namaste, you join your palms and bow down gently as a splendid way to welcome the new day as well. The Sun Salutation yoga pose is also a Namaste to Sun in a bid to welcome a great morning and new beginnings.
This three-syllable word has got divinity in its expression. It is a divine greeting, it could be a spiritual chant pose, and a significant part of Yoga. It is literally pronounced as Nah-Muh-Stay and as you say it you slightly bend your head as a mark of respect.
Does Namaste Mean Thank You?
Namaste is considered mostly as a greeting/salutation. Although the Namaste pose can be done in a bid to thank the yoga teacher after a yoga session, it is not considered a gesture to thank someone generally in daily life. During most Yoga classes, the Namaste gesture is mostly done by the teacher during the conclusion of the class. The peaceful energy of the class should not be disrupted and nothing better than showing gratitude than doing Namaste. This also allows the students and teacher to connect spiritually and energetically.
So, What Does Namaste Mean?
Simply put, when you put your hands together in a sacred manner, it is a namaste. It is also labelled as a namaskar when integrated into religious and spiritual practices. The very pose ignites the divine spark in your body and mind to a state of calm and sheer relaxation. The gesture itself means respect and regard, regardless of whether you choose to utter the word- Namaste. There is an essence of duality in the pose as it balances polarities within yourself. The Mudra boosts connectivity in you and others. This helps in channeling inner harmony and calm.
Namaste in Yoga
The prevalence of Namaste in Yoga goes back many centuries ago in the form of Anjali Mudra (the namaste pose). This pose is more than a mere greeting pose. There are a lot of emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits as well. We will describe the benefits of namaste pose now.
Body and Mind Balance
On doing Namaste using the Anjali/Namaskar mudra, the balance between the right and left sides of the brain is restored. Amidst the hustle-bustle of life, the brain gets affected to the extent of losing its efficacy. When doing the Namaskar mudra, the brain functions as a whole. It promotes a harmonious state of mind and body. This further enables you to work and perform efficiently.
The average life of every millennial or Gen-Z revolves around staring at their electronic devices while sitting at their desks. This takes a toll on their bodies by harming their posture. This leads to constant pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. The namaskar/ Anjali mudra aids in healing the shoulder blades by opening up the vacuum. This further promotes better flexibility in the wrists and fingers by including it in yoga poses. There is a significant decrease in muscle tension in the shoulders, hands, and arms when you integrate the namaskar mudra in daily yogic poses. This eventually results in better blood circulation and nerve activation.
A significant chunk of the population is unaware of the consciousness that surrounds us. When you perform the namaskar mudra every day, you cultivate mindfulness in yourself. This prevents you from repeating the patterns of the past or addicting to toxic habits and substances. Lack of mindfulness also leads to constantly worrying about the future, anxiety, and panic. When you are engulfed in great awareness, then all you care about is Now. You are focused on the present and everything that affects it. The palms in the Namaskar mudra produce energy that cultivates mindfulness.
There have been enough instances and practices that prove that meditation works immensely well for your mental and physical health. Despite the benefits, meditation can be challenging for some due to its high concentration requirements. We live in an age of technology that induces mental and physical hyperactivity. The minds are always overloaded with information and thus the power to focus is a challenge. When your hands are in the Anjali/Namaskar Mudra over your Heart chakra, calming energy gets stimulated instantly. This aids in harmony and relaxation that promotes a mindful moment to retain your concentration levels for a guided meditation.
Religious and Spiritual Connection
The spiritual faith leads us to use the Namaskar/ Anjali mudra several times. Whether it is done during yoga poses, during prayers, for Sun salutation, or at temples, Namaskar mudra has tremendous powers. While there may be religious differences that divide us, it is the spiritual faith that unites us globally. Namaste or Namaskar mudra, in this case, induces a positive ray of hope in us and motivates people to be positive and good. This further supports a better coping mechanism for most health ailments that affect the body and mind.
Namaste is a humble way of greeting others that has rich and glorious ancient roots. This act of bowed head, folded hands and palms signify humility and respect. This graceful acknowledgment and greeting endure its countless benefits for thousands of years. So, when someone greets you with a Namaste, the only response would be reciprocating it with this splendid form of greeting.