The Gesture: Namaste / Namaskar

  • Namaste is often accompanied by a gesture: palms pressed together in front of the chest and a slight bow of the head.
  • It’s advised to take this moment to truly focus on the Divine in each person.
  • The symbolic meaning of pressing the hands together is interpreted in a few various ways, including: oneness; uniting masculine and feminine; and joining the devotee with the Divine.
  • When alone or greeting the Divine, one may wish to close the eyes as a way to help surrender the mind. When greeting another, most sources say to look at the other person being greeted.
  • The hands are said to be at the heart chakra to “increase the flow of Divine love.”
  • Bowing is a process of surrender. Bowing the head in Namaste symbolizes surrendering the ego. See more on bowing here.
  • This gesture without saying Namaste retains the same meaning.


  • When greeting someone of a higher status, the hands may be placed in front of the forehead.
  • To exhibit reverence to God or a holy person the hands may be placed above the head, and the person may perform the gesture in prostration (e.g. lying stretched out on the ground).
  • Another way is to place hands at third eye, bowing, and then taking hands to the heart.

Surrender to the Divine in the Heart

We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation. – Rita Geno

A Gracious Form of Extending Friendship

How to Namaste: Bend the arms from the elbow upwards and face the two palms of the hands. Place the two palms together and keep the folded palms in front of the chest. Utter the word namaste and while saying the word bow the head slightly. – About Religion

Do’s and Don’ts

How to Do Namaskar

  1. Take a breath chant OM once and feel you are only a soul not body.
  2. Close your eyes gently.
  3. Focus that you are greeting a soul (god) from a soul (god) within you. You can imagine image of a god that you believe in.
  4. Pause to follow steps (1,2 and 3) before uttering Namaskar and then say Namaskar.
  5. Never hassle and utter Namaskar. The right method is to humbly complete the simple steps to greet the soul.

Do Not in Namaskar

  1. Do not have ill-feelings towards other person. Better meet and greet person who is not your enemy.
  2. Use clean hands if possible to greet.
  3. Do not hold any object in the hands or greet hurriedly… Doing so means your hands are not in perfect Namaskar Mudra [and therefore] the energy [will not] flow in correct form to the recipient. The fingers and their tips should be straight while greeting in Namaskar.