0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

What Do You Say at the End of Yoga Class?

by
author image Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in Arizona Weddings, Virginia Bride and on Gin & Pork and Bashelorette.com.
What Do You Say at the End of Yoga Class?
Gesturing Namaste signals respect for those who practice with you. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

It's been a grueling yet relaxing yoga class, and you might be able to lay in Savasana forever. At the end of your class, though, your instructor will probably bring you to a seated position, press her hands together and murmur something that sounds like Sanskrit to you.

Well, it is Sanskrit — at the end of a typical yoga class, the instructor leads the class in saying and gesturing "Namaste," a symbol of gratitude and respect. Often, she will say it first, and you will repeat it back. Although some teachers might signal Namaste at both the beginning and the end of a class, it's typically done at the end because the room's energy is peaceful and the mind is less active.

Read More: What to Wear to Yoga

Meaning of Namaste

In yoga, there's a belief that there is a divine spark in everyone, located in the heart chakra. This chakra — one of seven — affects the ability to love and is located just above your heart in the center of your chest. By gesturing Namaste, you acknowledge that spark and the soul in another person. Literally translated, Nama means "bow," as means "I" and te means "you" — "Bow I you," or "I bow to you."

Some instructors might take this a little bit further, adding a phrase of their choice, such as, "The light in me honors the light in you." She might also add, "The teacher in me bows to the teacher in you." Although she might be officially the instructor, this form of gratitude and respect is a way to symbolize that she appreciates that she can learn from you, the participant, as well.

Press your palms together in front of your heart chakra.
Press your palms together in front of your heart chakra. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Read More: Basic Yoga Terminology

How to Perform Namaste

You can perform Namaste while sitting or standing. Bring your hands together, pressing the palms to touch, in front of your heart. Close your eyes and bow your head. Alternatively, you can place your hands together in the middle of your forehead, or your Third Eye, bow your head farther than you would normally and bring your hands down to your heart. The latter typically signifies deep respect. The Third Eye chakra is located between your eyes and governs your ability to focus on and see the bigger picture.

In the Western world, participants typically speak the word "Namaste;" however, in other cultures, such as in India, typically only the gesture is made. It might feel as if you're praying; however, yoga is not a religion, and the hand position is simply a symbol of respect.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media