January 22, 2024

Yoga Words You'll Hear in a Class

Yoga is an increasingly popular discipline for relieving stress, stretching the body and soothing the mind. But its terminology may be daunting to newcomers to the practice - whether in physical classes or watching online yoga videos.

Sanskrit, which forms the backbone of many Indian languages and one of the oldest human tongues, provides much of the vocabulary found in yoga classes. Here, we have provided a list of some of the more frequently heard yoga terms and expressions during classes.

Asana: This term refers to physical poses in yoga and translates to "seated posture" in ancient sacred texts such as the Yoga Sutras. Additionally, Asana may refer to specific positions such as Adho Mukha Svanasana which is a variation on mountain pose.

-Pranayama: Breathwork that involves breathing deeply and mindfully. The aim of pranayama is to increase awareness of breathwork by matching it to body rhythm, which helps calm your mind.

Namaste is a commonly used greeting and farewell that translates to, "I bow to you." It's usually given at the beginning and end of yoga classes by pressing palms together in front of chest and bowing forward; its purpose is said to be spiritual union or oneness. Additionally, Namaste can also be repeated out loud for increased concentration during meditation sessions.

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