I have been teaching one form or another of group fitness for over 15 years. However, I am not a yoga instructor, just a humble student.
One of the many things about yoga is how the practice (what we triathletes and fitness folks call a workout), is ended. The instructor will place their hands in the center of their chests, bow their heads, and say “Namaste.” Most students then repeat the gesture and phrase.
What does that mean?
As a new student I just copied the other students and did what they did without giving thought to what it all meant. Even while not understanding the meaning of the word I always felt deep appreciation. I attributed that to my “yoga buzz” or the high I sometimes get from a good “practice”. Finally, I wanted to know more and found that the word namaste literally means “I bow to you” and is a way of expressing gratitude for each other.
The hands are usually held together at “heart center” or Anahata Chakra to increase the flow of loving energy and the head is bowed to focus on that sensation. Simply put, this a way for your instructor to thank you for sharing your energy and spirit with them for the duration of the class and for you to thank your instructor for sharing their energy and spirit with you.
Today I say to you, “Namaste.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me into your world.