“Om” and “namaste” are two phrases that we hear over and over again in the yoga community. But do you know exactly what they mean? These ancient Sanskrit words are both meaningful and sacred. The power behind these words may not be immediately recognized, but if you look deeper, you will see their inherent significance and deep energy:

Namaste

Translation: “Nama” means bow. “As” means I, and “te” means you.

The word “namaste” literally means “bow to me or I bow to you.”

In India, Namaste is used as a greeting when people meet. This is a sign of respect and love. In India, people usually place their hands together without saying a word to signify the meaning. We Westerners typically make the same gesture but verbalize its meaning by saying “Namaste.”

Hand Gesture

You can make the hand gesture by placing your hands together at the heart chakra, closing your eyelids, and bowing your neck. You can also do it by placing your hands together in front of the third eye and turning your head.

This is often heard or seen at the start or end of yoga class. Anjali Mudra is the name of this gesture in yoga. The mudra is performed by combining the tips of your fingers and the palms. These are energy points in the body. These points are brain nerve circuits that are connected to the upper part of the body. By bringing your hands together in the center of your body, you literally connect your right and left brain hemispheres. The yogic unification process is this. Everything is one in yoga.

Each finger symbolizes different qualities. The three finger types (ring, middle, and little) represent the classic qualities of nature. The middle finger represents sattva (purity and wisdom). The ring finger represents rajas, or activity and movement. The little finger is tamas, which means laziness or dullness. The thumb represents the ultimate soul, while the index finger represents the individual soul. The yogi should transcend these states and progress from ignorance to wisdom.

Namaste is the heart of yogic practice. It allows you to see the Divine in all creation.

OM (Aum).

Om is a sacred, spiritual sound and mantra. Sanskrit means “Source” or “Supreme”. The vibrational sound of the word is important.

Meaning and OM

The “AWE,” “Ooo,” and “Mmm” sounds represent the beginning of the Universe, the energy of the Universe, and transformation. The three syllables represent three phases of life, namely birth, life, and death, or waking up, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. The last syllable represents the deep silence of the Infinite. The chant merges into the deep silence from the letter ‘M.

Feeling It

You should feel vibrations in your body as you say OM or AUM.

You will feel a vibration above your abdomen when you say “AWE.”

You should be able to feel the “Ooo” in your chest.

“Mmm” is a word you should be able to feel in your mind.

You will feel the sound rising as you speak AUM slowly. The vibrations will activate your upper chakras. This will help you achieve a sense of calmness and well-being, relax your nervous system, and prepare you for meditation or yoga.

AUM is the sound that the Universe makes.

The sound Om vibrates with the same frequency as everything else in nature. AUM is the universal sound. We are physically and symbolically tuning into that sound when we chant AUM.