In studios all around the world, yogis bring their hands together at their heart centre in Namaste gesture. Literally translated, Namaste means “I bow to you”. But have you ever thought about the deeper significance?

When we make the Namaste gesture, we are saying: “The divine in me recognises the divine in you and acknowledges that we are the same.” Namaste allows the teacher and student to connect energetically in a symbol of mutual gratitude and respect.

According to the Vedas (ancient yogic texts), our individual souls are connected with the greater universal consciousness. So no matter how separate or alone we might feel, each one of us is actually a vital part of the universe. Contained within you is the divine life force that pervades the universe.

Focusing on the similarities rather than the differences, putting the greater whole above ourselves, and realising that we all contribute to the condition of this planet are the first steps in uniting with the universal consciousness.

In our Pregnancy Yoga Classes, we use it as a very simple way of beginning to connect with your baby. At the end of all our classes, the teacher says: “Bring your hands to your heart centre, close your eyes, bow your head towards your hands, turn up the corners of your mouth, smiling upon yourself, smiling upon your baby, feeling gratitude for the miracle of life growing inside you, and thanking yourself for your yoga practice this morning. Namaste”