Namaste is an Indian greeting. It means the higher consciousness in me greets the higher consciousness in you. “Nama” in Sanskrit means “bow” in English, “as” means “I” and “te” means “you.”
The greeting is performed by bringing your palms together in front of your heart, bowing your head a little and closing your eyes if you like. It is also performed by bringing your palms together in front of your forehead. You can say Namaste with the hand gesture.
It is common to start and end a Yoga class with Namaste, performed with your hands in front of your heart. It is a nice way to set the tone at the beginning of the class; for a moment, you acknowledge the existence of something much bigger than you, which you can call the divine if you like.
At the end of a Yoga class, Namaste is a nice way to express gratitude; to say “I am grateful that I’m able to practice Yoga, grateful to the teachers who have taught me, grateful for the people whom I teach or practice. Namaste.”