In March 2020, right in the middle of the Pandemic, Prince Charles brought global attention to a gesture traditionally practised by Indians for centuries.
Prince Charles greeted people he met at the annual Prince’s Trust Awards at the London Palladium with a “Namaste”. Obviously for the British Royal family member to raise his hands together and slightly bow as a “hello” in the time when physical contact was taboo was a big deal.
Handshakes and hugs were discouraged to help stop the spread of Coronavirus so this beautiful and gentle greeting was ideal especially in the public eye.
Of course, I didn’t understand the fuss as someone who grew up with this. Namaste is not just a saying, it is a gesture, greeting and mark of respect rolled in one.
The meaning of Namaste
Namaste is a Sanskrit word that is the combination of “Namas” which means to bow and “te” which means “I”. So each time someone offers you a Namaste, they are “bowing to you” with an open heart.
How do you do it?
So how do you do it? Firstly you join both palms together, thumbs close to the chest, with the fingers pointing upwards. Move your body forward slightly so that your forehead just about meets the tips of your fingers. You say the words “Namaste” which is pronounced “Namas-tay”
Namaste in Yoga is called the Anjali Mudra which opens the heart and connects us with our soul. It is also a prayer pose for many religions. The act combined with the bow and the greeting makes Namaste unique and humbling as well as a show of respect.
The correct response is to return the greeting. You can stay in your own space and need not touch at all.
This beautiful practice is not limited to age or sex. You may do this even at a sombre event such as a religious ritual or funeral but without a smile. I know my mother used to do it at the temples and would say the “Namaste” softly.
Namaste also activates the chakras in your palms if you rub your hands together before. Say the name of the person you are greeting to send them good vibes. Stimulating your hand chakra promotes openness and creativity. It also plays a huge role in hands-on healing. As a healer, I know when someone needs healing by the way the chakras in my palms behave. They immediately activate when I am in the presence of someone who needs healing. Even as a child I instantly knew I needed to touch someone on the shoulder or hand based on how my hands felt. I would feel the energy move from my hands to their body.
By regularly practising the Namaste ritual you will be unknowingly spreading love and healing without even realising it.
It is such a pleasant and respectful gesture filled with positive energy that we desperately need in the world right now.
Please do leave me a comment if this has been insightful.