N is for Namaste

The first time I stumbled into a yoga class and anxiously tried to match the motions of the teacher, I was all arms go here and this leg goes . . . here and, oh, how do i get my head over there? I was so relieved when the class came to a close. “Namaste,” she said. I recognized the word, but I didn’t know why I knew it or what it meant.

In the recent 21 Day Meditation Challenge on Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra talked each day about that day’s centering thought. He ended each day’s meditation time with a gentle “Namaste.”

I could sense that there was some sort of connection inherent in the word, but didn’t really know any more than that.

Google, here I come.
Imagine my delight at discovering a deeply respectful gesture and word that is all about connecting with the spirit of another.

I’ve long wanted a gesture that would become widely used and loved that we could use in traffic (for positive things!), or when seeing an acquaintance across a crowded auditorium, or to anyone with whom we would like to show respect graciously and without words.

(Of course, there’s already ONE gesture that is often used in traffic, but that one has a pretty different “feel” about it.)

Do you use this word or gesture? What would it be like to adopt it as your own? What other ways do you find yourself connecting on a deep level with someone?

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9 thoughts on “N is for Namaste

  1. Hi Susan. I have used the gesture more than the word namaste, an ex-hippie-type boyfriend turned me off it for a while, but he was a bacon eating vegetarian, so that might explain some things!! I would like to think a smile is a universal gesture, but I still encounter moments where some men consider it an invitation to 'get to know me better' than was my intention… For me namaste is something I use freely, amongst like minded people, so hopefully the older I get the more it will become a party of my everyday 🙂 Great post – again 🙂


  2. Ah the grand Indian gesture. Used as mark of respect when we meet the elders from the family / friends. It also means I bow to thee – as you fold your hands and bow down to the other person. We also use it with people who we meet for the first time instead of the Western hand shake. Derived from the Sanskrit words – Namah and Te – Namah means bow / respect and Te means to you. In school we were taught to say Namaste to our teachers and to our fellow students as well. The deeper meaning is signified by the fact that we place our folded palms near our heart, implying that I bow to thee from my heart – from my soul to yours. Lovely post and made me write a big comment 🙂 Thank you and Namaste!


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