The Management Team encourages all to say Namaste this season.
It is a noncontact form of greeting, as opposed to hugging or shaking hands. The spiritual meaning of namaste conveys that “the divine in me respectfully recognizes the divine in you.” - Swami Vivekananda.
Shaking hands is a Western form of greeting that, with increasing globalisation and westernisation has been widely adopted. But in today’s environment, shaking the hand of another person can mean exposure to the risk of being infected with a virus that can be lethal.
Therefore, by folding our hands and saying “Namaste” instead, the risk of person-to-person transmission of the virus can be eliminated. And there are greater benefits to the practice too.
What does Namaste mean?
Directly translated it means "the divine in me bows to the divine in you." Namaste invokes the feeling of spiritual oneness of heart and mind; with the person one is greeting.
Namaste is the common greeting in yoga. It is a gesture to send a message of peaceful spirituality to the universe in the hopes of receiving a positive message back. Most say namaste as a means to thank the teacher or use it as an expression of relief upon the ending of the class.
“One must closely understand the difference between namaskar, which is used when greeting multiple people while namaste is most closely associated with greeting an individual for a personal divine greeting,” says Ekraj Gajurel, Yoga Master at the Andaman Langkawi. “We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart” he says adding that if it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.
How to Make the Namaste Gesture?
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart chakra, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect.