How To Namaste

Hindi Salutation or Greeting

Cropped View of Indian Woman with Hands in Prayer Position
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The word Namaste is a combination of the two Sanskrit words: nama, and te. Basically, nama means "to bow" and te means "you." The Namaste salutation was transmitted from ancient India to the countries of South-east Asia and has now traveled virtually all over the globe. In Japan, the Namaste hand gesture is called Gassho and is used in prayer and healing sessions.


The God/Goddess Spirit within me recognizes and honors the God/Goddess Spirit within you.

Mudra of Namaste

Hands are held together at the palms in front of the heart or brow chakra. Head is bowed slightly downward. Eyes are sometimes closed.

A Yogic Thank You

Yoga students often repeat "Namaste" at the end of each class as a thank you, honoring their instructor.


Namaste is significant because it is a humbling gesture. Namaste is done as a recognition that we are all on equal standings, all of us are children of divinity. We are one.

Who Can Namaste?

Namaste can be used as a greeting for all ages, all genders, all races. Namaste greetings can be given to friends, family members, and also strangers.

Written Notation

The word "Namaste" is often used as a closing notation (without the accompanying prayerful hand and bowing head gestures) in written communications similar to "sincerely," "best regards" or "love."

More Interpretations/Translations of Namaste

There are several variations of wordings which describe what Namaste means. Meanings and definitions of Namaste  What does this sacred gesture mean to you? Below are suggested meaning shared by our readers.

One of my favorite interpretations for Namaste is to simply 'honor the peace within' 

Because I see yoga as a way of being one with body, mind, and spirit. I also see meditation and honoring other religions as an honor too. I see Namaste being relevant in tying all of them. For example, Namaste in yoga: I honor the higher self in you. In Buddhism: I honor the Buddha nature in you. In Christianity: I honor the Christ-like self in you. Namaste would mean, I honor you, the greatness, individual specialness in you because most likely there is some of that in me too! So we could learn to first honor ourselves, then we can easily honor others. Appreciate them, bow to them, feel a loving presence for who and all they are.

When I realize the creator of the world dwells within me and you recognize that the creator of the world dwells in you; and when we both realize he has an unconditional love for us, then we are truly one. Not because we say it so, but because that creator created us to be one. He created us for this very moment when we realize that we are one. 

My interpretation is that if there is such a thing as a spark of the divine in me it humbly bows to that spark in you. 

I honor the Divine within you. I honor the place in you that is of Light, of Love, of Truth and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me... We are one. ~Reiki 

I run a holistic keep-fit class and the first thing we do is close our eyes and say Namaste to ourselves to honor and recognize our own self-worth. Then we say namaste to our internal organs individually. It's lovely now because members have also started to say namaste to whatever they feel I've missed out or they particularly want to thank and appreciate. We always back it up with something positive. Then we say a group Namaste to let each other know we honor and accept each other as we are here and now. We drop the ego and we are equal. We honor each other. It's safe to be yourself and only do what you can. I believe this session of the class is powerful as honoring your self-increases self-confidence which helps with all aspects of life.