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HomeYogaYoga Phrases Decoded: Important Yoga Vocabulary for Inexperienced persons in 2023

Yoga Phrases Decoded: Important Yoga Vocabulary for Inexperienced persons in 2023

Stepping right into a yoga studio while you’re a newbie might be intimidating for a lot of causes. Lengthy earlier than I turned a yoga instructor, I keep in mind feeling overwhelmed by all of the Sanskrit phrases, yoga phrases, and sophisticated pose names after I began taking yoga lessons.

I knew that yoga might be a profound and transformational expertise. But, I didn’t perceive what the instructor meant when she directed us to make use of “ujjayi breath” or “interact mula bandha.” I felt like I used to be lacking out on the whole yoga expertise.

Diving into observe with out greedy frequent vocabulary, like mudra, bandha, and asanas, is like navigating a brand new metropolis with no map; it’s doable however unnecessarily difficult. Familiarizing your self with key phrases comparable to yama, sutra, and solar salutation can assist you’re feeling extra comfy and assured while you enter a room filled with yogis able to move.

After all, any efficient yoga instructor ought to clarify a Sanskrit phrase in a manner all college students will perceive. However figuring out some yoga vocabulary earlier than you attend a category helps bridge the hole between wide-eyed novices and seasoned yogis, turning advanced ideas and philosophies from the yoga sutra into significant experiences that resonate each on and off the mat.

Understanding yoga vocabulary transforms mere phrases into highly effective instruments that unlock a extra profound, cohesive observe. Let’s demystify a few of these frequent yoga phrases collectively.

Yoga Vocabulary Glossary for Inexperienced persons

Yoga is a wealthy cultural observe with particular, technical terminology, like mudra, postures, meditation, and chakra. Let’s break down some key yoga phrases that can have you ever talking “yogi” very quickly!

Asana Fundamentals

Asana refers back to the bodily postures in yoga, a lot of which offer a sturdy exercise to your physique. Every place has a particular goal in strengthening or stretching muscle tissue, aligning chakras to open vitality channels, or selling rest.

Right here is a few asana-focused yoga vocabulary that can assist you navigate your first yoga class.

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is a elementary yoga posture practiced by standing tall with toes collectively and arms by your facet. It begins and ends many yoga sequences, such because the Solar Salutation.
  • Downward Going through Canine (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is a pose that brings the physique into an inverted place, palms and toes separate, and hips towards the ceiling within the form of an upside-down “V.”
  • Chaturanga (shortened model of its full identify, Chaturanga Dandasana) is a strength-building pose that fires up your complete physique as you decrease midway from a excessive plank place.
  • Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana) is one other asana you’ll move by way of often in a Vinyasa or Hatha yoga class. It’s like a excessive lunge along with your again foot barely out-turned, arms reaching over your head. Within the variation Warrior II, your torso opens to the facet, and your arms prolong out out of your shoulders,
  • Corpse pose (Savasana) is how we finish most yoga lessons, mendacity flat in your again along with your eyes closed. It’s a time for integration and rest.
  • Solar Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is an ordinary sequence in Vinyasa yoga that makes use of a number of poses above. Test it out in our article right here.

Namaste Nuances

Namaste is among the most acknowledged and repeated yoga phrases, nevertheless it’s greater than only a factor to say to a different yogi on the finish of a yoga or meditation class. It’s an act of respect imbued with religious connection.

Once you carry your palms collectively at your coronary heart heart (anjali mudra), bow your head, and say Namaste in your yoga class, you acknowledge and honor the soul shine in another person.

When you say "Namaste," bring your palms together in Anjali mudra at your heart center and bow your head in reverence.

Drishti Pointers

Have you ever ever tried focusing your eyes whereas holding a yoga pose, watching one spot as you steadiness? That’s drishti. This targeted gaze, a elementary method in yoga, will increase your focus and is an important device for reaching steadiness throughout difficult poses.

Once you focus your drishti, you additionally focus your vitality to maintain your thoughts from wandering off when you’ll want to keep put.

  • Nostril Tip (Nasagrai Drishti): A yoga and meditation method specializing in the nostril tip for focus.
  • Hand Thumb (Hastagrai Drishti) Method: Eyes fastened on the hand throughout yoga poses like Warrior II.

Figuring out even just a few important items of yoga vocabulary, just like the names of frequent postures, will enable you really feel extra assured while you stroll into your subsequent class.

Keep in mind these phrases subsequent time you roll out your mat to your observe. They’ll assist progress your method, channel your vitality, and join with others locally.

Significance of Sanskrit in Yoga

Sanskrit is the ancient language of yoga and sacred spiritual texts.

Sanskrit connects us to yoga’s roots. It preserves yoga’s coronary heart by way of sound and that means. Though many yoga lecturers use the English names of yoga postures, studying the right Sanskrit phrases helps maintain the traditional traditions of the observe.

Historical Language Connection

Sanskrit is sort of a bridge linking at this time’s yoga fans to historical knowledge. Think about chatting with somebody from hundreds of years in the past. That’s what occurs while you use Sanskrit in yoga.

Preserving Conventional Sounds

Sanskrit is a classical language primarily utilized in religious observe, philosophical texts, and historical literature. It isn’t extensively spoken at this time, so the sounds are distinctive to many Western ears. Pronunciation and emphasis make a giant distinction in spoken Sanskrit.

So, while you study a brand new Sanskrit phrase, lookup its correct pronunciation to sound like an actual yogi.

Deepen Your Follow with Sanskrit Knowledge

Once you study Sanskrit, it could supply new views and interpretations of your yoga observe. Contemplate these potential conditions:

  • In a yoga class, a brand new scholar learns the that means of the time period asana as “seat” or “posture.” Now, she will be able to extra simply acknowledge the names of latest poses through the class.
  • You uncover the Sanskrit phrase “Pranayama” interprets to “life pressure regulation.” Impulsively, your breath holds extra energy. Once you observe pranayama strategies, your respiratory turns into a acutely aware act to broaden your life vitality move.

These examples present studying Sanskrit isn’t simply tutorial—it modifications your complete yoga class expertise and provides a profound connection to your observe.

Deepening Philosophical Understanding

Yoga is greater than a bodily motion observe of bringing your physique into totally different poses. It’s a complete philosophical system with historical roots. Familiarizing your self with a few of these philosophical ideas can take your yoga to the subsequent degree, from a bodily exercise to extra of a religious observe.

A few of these yoga phrases you could have heard earlier than. However do you know their that means?

  • Karma: the legislation of trigger and impact, like a cosmic steadiness.
  • Karma Yoga: the act of doing good with out anticipating something in return.
  • Dharma: responsibility or righteousness, appearing in line with ethical rules.
  • Tantra: a observe that expands consciousness and connection to the divine.

Studying from Sacred Texts

The Yoga Sutras are a group of teachings by the guru Patanjali, which many yoga lecturers reference.

  • Yoga Sutras: Contemplate them an instruction guide for working towards yoga and life typically.
  • Yama: the Yoga Sutras clarify the 5 yamas as moral pointers for residing life.
  • Guru: in line with Patanjali, a religious instructor or information.
  • Ashtanga: eight limbs (literal translation), referring to the eightfold path of yoga outlined by Patanjali within the Yoga Sutras.

Studying these phrases helps you perceive the historic and philosophical context of yoga.

Anatomy and Alignment in Poses

Yoga is all about steadiness and concord in every posture. Yoga anatomy applies to your bodily and ” delicate ” our bodies — your vitality move and life pressure.

Know Your Energetic Physique

Many alternative yoga poses and respiratory workouts are sensible instruments for cleaning and shifting vitality in your physique, maintaining you wholesome and balanced. Listed here are just a few important phrases to know.

  • Nadi: vitality channels in your physique the place your life pressure vitality flows.
  • Chakra: a swirling vitality heart situated within the physique, located alongside the backbone.
  • Ajna chakra: one of many seven most important chakras, referred to as the Third Eye chakra.
  • Prana: the important vitality that sustains all life.
  • Bandha: contracting particular muscle tissue within the physique to manage vitality move; mula bandha, for instance, is your pelvic ground.

Anatomical Clues for Asanas

In a yoga class, figuring out your bones out of your muscle tissue could make or break a pose (hopefully not actually!). When your yoga instructor talks about firing up these glutes, participating the pelvic ground (mula bandha), or aligning the backbone throughout class, figuring out some primary anatomical lingo helps you observe the cues extra successfully.

The seven main chakras are energy centers in the body situated along the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head.

Pranayama: Breath Management Methods

Many instructors embrace Pranayama, the artwork of breath management, of their lessons. Generally, your instructor might lead you thru a pranayama breath observe in the direction of the top of the category. In sure types of yoga, a particular kind of respiratory method accompanies the motion observe.

Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi Breath is a standard respiratory method, particularly in Vinyasa Yoga. Its literal translation is “victorious breath,” however you would possibly hear it referred to as “ocean breath,” because it mimics the sound of light waves flowing out and in.

To strive Ujjayi respiratory, maintain your hand in entrance of your face. Together with your mouth open, exhale as in the event you had been fogging up a mirror along with your breath. Breathe in by way of your nostril, then shut your mouth. As you exhale once more, preserve the identical oceanic sound in your throat.

Ujjayi breath generates inner warmth, and when paired with a move of postures, it will increase mindfulness and sharpens focus.

Kumbhaka Breath Retention

One other well-liked pranayama train utilized in meditation is Kumbhaka or breath retention. This respiratory method is easy and secure for all ranges of scholars.

To observe Kumbhaka breath retention, sit comfortably on the ground or in a chair. Take a deep breath in, pause, and maintain for just a few seconds. Then, exhale slowly and steadily. Proceed respiratory on this manner, including a pause after every inhale.

Training the Kumbhaka breath retention cultivates mindfulness, improves focus, and calms the nervous system.

Pranayama in Yoga Practices

Incorporating these pranayama strategies into your yoga periods can rework your observe. The respiratory workouts should not nearly shifting air out and in; they’re about shifting vitality prana —all through the physique.

Whether or not you’re seated in meditation, flowing by way of Warrior II, or mendacity in savasana on the finish of your yoga session, these strategies can deepen mindfulness and amplify the advantages of your yoga observe.

Breath by breath, pranayama guides us towards inside stillness, the place each inhale meets intention, and each exhale releases resistance inside our yoga observe.

Mudra and Mantra

The next two frequent yoga phrases usually come up in meditation periods. So, let’s undergo a crash course in every of those yoga practices so that you’ll be prepared to maneuver your yoga observe past the bodily asanas!


Merely put, a mudra is a gesture made with the palms or fingers to manage vitality move throughout the physique and focus the thoughts throughout meditation. Listed here are the 2 mudra you’ll most certainly encounter in a yoga session.

  • Anjali Mudra: one of the crucial well-recognized yogic gestures through which you carry your palms collectively at your coronary heart heart.
  • Gyan Mudra: a gesture representing the union of particular person and common consciousness, made by touching the guidelines of the thumb and index finger collectively and increasing the opposite three fingers.
To practice Gyan mudra, bring the tips of your thumb and index finger together and extend your other three fingers.

Mantra Meditation

In yoga, a mantra is a repeated phrase, phrase, or sound throughout meditation or chanting. A mantra is likely to be devoted to a particular deity, like a prayer. However, it might be only one easy syllable used to focus the thoughts and promote a state of focus.

The simplest mantra of all is one you’ve most likely heard earlier than: Om. You might have even chanted it along with your palms in Anjali Mudra on the finish of a yoga session. This small however mighty mantra incorporates all of the sounds of the universe in a single syllable!

One other well-known mantra combines Om with the Sanskrit time period shanti, that means “peace.” Once you shut your eyes and chant, “Om, shanti shanti om,” you might be invoking a prayer for peace for all residing beings.

If you happen to’re curious to strive a mantra meditation, try They’ve many attention-grabbing on-line yoga and meditation lessons that incorporate mantras and sound therapeutic.

Know Your Yoga Model

Once you’re a category schedule for a yoga shala, you would possibly really feel overwhelmed all of the several types of lessons. Right here’s a fast cheat sheet so you realize which fashion of yoga will be just right for you.

  • Vinyasa Yoga: Additionally referred to as Vinyasa move, synchronizes actions with respiratory. Energy Yoga and Baptiste Yoga are examples of area of interest kinds of Vinyasa.
  • Hatha Yoga: A conventional, usually light fashion of yoga that focuses on postures and breath management to domesticate steadiness and concord within the physique and thoughts.
  • Ashtanga: A structured and rigorous fashion of yoga that follows a particular sequence of poses.
  • Sizzling Yoga: Any yoga practiced in a heated house to encourage flexibility; Bikram Yoga is a particular fashion of scorching yoga.
  • Iyengar Yoga: Named after B.Okay.S. Iyengar, who created this specific yoga fashion to give attention to alignment, particularly the backbone.
  • Restorative Yoga: A delicate type of yoga utilizing props like blankets and blocks to advertise deep rest.
  • Yin Yoga: A therapeutic kind of yoga that works with vitality channels within the physique referred to as meridians and focuses on deep tissues like fascia.

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Integrating Yoga Language

Taking on yoga is about greater than mastering motion — you’ll be studying a complete new language. However don’t sweat it! With this glossary of important yogic and Sanskrit phrases, you’ve already obtained a head begin.

So, what’s subsequent in your yogic journey? Hold working towards, preserve exploring, and let these phrases be your guideposts alongside the best way. Whether or not you’re flowing by way of Vinyasa or mastering the intricacies of alignment, communicate the language confidently.

And hey, in the event you ever stumble over a phrase or a pose identify (strive saying Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 3 times quick!), that’s all a part of the method. Share your experiences with fellow yogis, ask questions when unsure, and preserve including to your yoga vocabulary — one pose, mudra, and mantra at a time.


FAQ 1: What does “Namaste” imply in yoga?

Namaste” is a respectful greeting in yoga that interprets to “I bow to you.” It acknowledges the divine spark inside every particular person and is commonly used at the start or finish of a category as an indication of gratitude and connection.

FAQ 2: Can understanding Sanskrit improve my yoga observe?

Completely! Whereas not necessary, studying Sanskrit can deepen your appreciation for yoga’s historical past and philosophy. It connects you to the normal roots of every pose and may enrich your general expertise on the mat.

FAQ 3: Are there any assets for novices to study yoga terminology?

Sure! Many yoga studios supply newbie lessons targeted on terminology. On-line platforms present intensive glossaries and tutorials that may assist familiarize you with primary yoga vocabulary used throughout observe.

FAQ 4: What ought to I do if I discover sure yoga phrases complicated throughout class?

If you happen to’re confused by any phrases throughout class, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for clarification after the session or look them up later to enhance comprehension for future practices. As a yoga instructor, I can affirm that we love being requested about yoga vocabulary and are comfortable that can assist you perceive!

FAQ 5: Is it essential to chant throughout yoga periods?

Chanting shouldn’t be vital however generally is a highly effective device for focusing consideration and setting intentions throughout meditation. Many yoga lessons shut with a collective chant of the mantra “Om.” If you’re uncomfortable with chanting or unable to vocalize, you’ll be able to repeat the mantra internally to your self.

FAQ 6: Does mastering breath management strategies require data of particular terminology?

Whereas not important for novices, figuring out particular pranayama phrases might be useful as you advance in your observe. These strategies are important in controlling vitality move all through your physique throughout meditation and asanas.

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