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The Many Uses for Namaste

in YD News

Illustration by Bendik Kaltenborn | The New Yorker

The New Yorker has a fun post today on the various ways yogis use the word Namaste. We repeat, The New Yorker has a FUN post today about yoga. Complete with an adorable graphic, author Andrea Denhoed digs into the many forms of speech ‘namaste’ can take when used in varying contexts. We all know how universal the word can be, but it really is interesting, sometimes hilarious and sometimes majorly cringeworthy, when it reaches ironic territory.

There’s the normal and more traditional greeting most of us are familiar with:

“Namaste, everybody. ‘Namaste’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.’ ” —A benediction, delivered by yoga instructors at the end of practice.

The less traditional greeting:

“Hey, girl! Namaste!” —A greeting, delivered by yogis in the entryway.

Then there’s the passive aggressive “thank you very much!” namaste telling everyone to please be quiet and close the door behind you, the “or else!” namaste on a sign in the bathroom asking everyone to not flush feminine products, the “amen!” namaste at the end of a particularly profound statement, the “I don’t agree with anything you’re saying right now, but it’s polite to say” namaste.

willy-wonka-namaste-sirOur favorite may be:

NAMA$TE —Studio owner’s license plate.

Though we’re not sure we entirely believe that to be true. Everyone knows studio owners don’t drive cars, they have flying yoga mats.

We can think of a few other uses: the “thanks, but no thanks” namaste, the “you’re in my regular spot, please leave” namaste, the big ‘ol unabashed “FU” namaste, and of course the “cheers!” namaste.


What other alternative uses for namaste have you heard?



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