Have you ever wondered why we say ‘namaste’ in yoga class, and what it means? To adults, this term might be familiar, but for kids, it can seem a little mysterious. ‘Namaste’ is more than just a word we use in yoga. It’s a greeting that comes from India, and it’s written in a language called Sanskrit, which is very, very … old.
This simple word carries a beautiful message that can help us all be a little kinder and more respectful to each other.
So, let’s see how we can explain the beautiful meaning of ‘namaste’ to our kids 🙂
How to explain Namaste to your kid
Explain the meaning in general:
This is how you can explain it to your kid : “Namaste” is a special word from a very old language called Sanskrit, used a long time ago in a place called India. When we say “namaste,” it’s like saying a very respectful “hello” or “goodbye,” but with a little more behind it.
Think of it like this – imagine if when you said “hello” to someone, you were also saying, “I see and honor how special you are.”
That’s what “namaste” means – “The divine in me honors the divine in you.”
It’s a way of showing that we respect the other person and acknowledge that they are unique and special, just like us. Isn’t that a beautiful way to greet someone? When we use this word, it helps remind us to be kind, respectful, and mindful of others.
Explain the meaning in Yoga:
Now to explain its relation with Yoga, you can say : Yoga is an exercise that helps us strengthen our bodies, focus our minds, and connect with our inner selves. It also has roots in India, just like the word “namaste.”
So, it’s not surprising that we use “namaste” during yoga classes. In yoga, “namaste” is a way of saying thank you and showing respect to our teacher and our fellow students.
It’s usually said at the beginning or end of class, often while pressing our palms together near our heart – a hand gesture that’s called Anjali Mudra. ( don’t hesitate to do the figure with your hands ).
Saying “namaste” in yoga means that you respect not just the person, but also the goodness, truth, and beauty within that person.
It’s a powerful way of showing that you value and appreciate the spirit in others, just as you value and appreciate your own. And it can remind us to be kind and respectful, not just during yoga class, but also in other parts of our lives.
Go Further with the explanation
It’s a wonderful idea to keep the conversation going if your child is engaged and curious !
In the next step of your discussion, you can delve deeper into the concept of “namaste” and its importance.
If your child is showing interest, it’s a great time to explore the idea of “namaste” further. Explain that saying “namaste” is not just about respect for others but also about recognizing our connection with everyone and everything around us. It’s about understanding that everyone is special and important.
You can talk about how “namaste” can be practiced outside of yoga classes. For example, it can express the spirit of “namaste” by showing kindness and understanding to his friends, siblings, and even to animals and nature.
You can suggest that he thinks of “namaste” when he’s saying thank you or sorry, or when he’s helping someone.
Tell him, it’s important to treat others with respect and kindness, and how saying “namaste” is a gentle reminder of this. You could explain that this principle is not just part of yoga, but is also valuable in all areas of life. It encourages us to see the best in others, to appreciate their value, and to treat them with kindness and respect.
The idea is that your kid understands and embraces the spirit of “namaste” in his daily life.
Wrap It All
The spirit of “namaste” isn’t confined to the yoga mat. It can be carried into our everyday lives, helping us and our children foster a mindset of empathy, respect, and connection with others.
So, why should your kid say “namaste”? Saying “namaste” encourages him to see the best in others, appreciate their value, and treat them with kindness and respect. It’s powerful, and, when used and understood, can contribute to nurturing a compassionate, respectful, and empathetic young person.
And with that, we hope you are now well-equipped to guide your child through his discovery of “namaste”, and through it : respect, kindness, and empathy.