I just ended my meditation practice with a namaste and it got me thinking about the gesture. It’s so easy to take for granted that there is a meaning to putting your hands together, being Indian I grew up with the namaste salutation as a part of my life. Saying namaste to elders and after prayers every morning was expected at my home and if we were abroad in South Africa or India, every adult had to be greeted with a namaste practically every day. So when I became a teen, as with anything I had forced upon me I grew to despise it and eventually rejected it into the ‘all things heathen’ pile.
Lately though, I’ve come to see the beauty in the gesture. In Sanskrit the word namah + te = namaste and in English it translates to “I bow to you.” I find saying the word namaste and performing the physical mudra of the meeting of the palms with the head nodded forward towards the chest – a calming action AND it feels like lovely way to show genuine respect and honour god in the person you are greeting.