Definition - What does Namaste mean?
Namaste is derived from the Sanskrit nama, meaning "bow," and te, meaning "to you." A common salutation and valediction in the Hindu culture, namaste literally means, "I bow to you."
On a more profound level, namaste signifies one soul recognizing and honoring the holiness of another. The salutation is often offered by yoga instructors at the beginning or conclusion of a class. In this sense, namaste is invoked to acknowledge the spiritual connection, or oneness, achieved by souls experiencing the practice of yoga together.
Yogapedia explains Namaste
The significance of the word namaste goes far beyond its use as a term of greeting; namaste is an acknowledgement that we are all divine and that we are all ultimately connected.
The salutation is used with profound intention and, in the practice of yoga, is often accompanied by the mudra, or gesture, of pressing the palms of the hands together in front of the heart chakra. The chakra, the source of energy, of the heart is where divine love exists and individual ego disappears; invoking the heart in this way further signifies an opening of one's divine soul to the holiness of another's.
While namaste may be uttered at the beginning or end of a yoga class, its gesture may also be utilized with certain yoga poses such as mountain pose, tree pose and sun salutation. By incorporating this mudra, the yoga practitioner can foster his/her awareness of the essence of namaste during their physical practice and be reminded of the oneness, the enlightenment, that is the ultimate intention of the practice.