I remember using this greeting for the first time in Thailand and thinking this is a beautiful expression that truly represents this friendly and welcoming country – the land of smiles.
If we fast forward a few years, it is now a very recognisable word in western society, predominantly from its use in yoga classes. I was intrigued to learn more about its meaning and if it deserves the instagram ‘glory’ that it experiences today.
Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together. In Hinduism it means ‘I bow to the divine in you’
During a yoga class, Namaste is often exchanged 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 her students and her own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
In the urban dictionary it is described as ‘an ancient Sanskrit greeting still in everyday use in India and especially on the trail in the Nepal Himilaya’
I’ve always loved the energy it derives during a yoga class but along the Nepalese trail towards the mighty Everest, through the remote towns and villages it warmed my heart to say this word. It’s more than just a hello, a respectable and spiritual exchange between two people from completely different worlds.
Whatever it means to you, as a fellow yogi or traveller I hope it warms your heart like it had mine.
I was so incredibly inspired by the himilaya region, I can’t wait to share more stories with you. A dream come true.We had such a great time at Kathmandu Durbar Square, and UNESCO world heritage site that unfortunately had many buildings destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. With temple after temple to explore though you will not be disappointed.
Namaste, Citygirl Xx