What do we mean when we say "namaste?" It's not what you might imagine. We hear it as we exit yoga class. We may even hear it after an encounter or meeting with a friend. It directly translates to "the divine in me bows to the divine in you."
"[Namaste] is the equivalent of hello, but with an element of respect. " Deepak Singh, a writer who grew up in India, writes in a story on this very topic for NPR.
In fact, namaste is not solely a yoga word, according to the Spiritual Science Resource Foundation. The word can be broken into three sections: Nama means "bow." This gesture is seen as one bows forward with both hands together. Holding both hands together closest to the heart chakra indicates the prayer position. Moving hands to the center facing the teacher (or yogi) acknowledges and thanks the teacher for the practice.