I love reminding myself what we are wishing each other with this simple gesture. It works on so many levels:
1. “Namah” means salutation (or adoration or obeisance) in Sanskrit and “te” to you. Put simply we are sending each other positive feelings, connecting, or if you prefer, simply greeting each other.
2. We acknowledge that we are all equal and are saying “the divine in me bows (“nama’ means bow) to the divine in you”. There are no egos here. The hands are placed at the heart chakra in recognition of the divine within, but often move to the brow chakra as we bow forward.
3. But if means even more than that. It shows between those present a heart felt respect, connection and gratitude for each other and our teachers (and their teachers before them).
I looked forward to saying namaste (or just bowing) to strangers I met in Nepal and India years ago. Today I enjoy closing my class with this lovely heart-felt gesture.
Aadil explains this really well in his Yoga Journal article.