The Language of Yoga


The language of Yoga is Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages of the world originating in India.  Here are some terms you may hear in class:


Om – primordial sound, the vibration of all that is, this is sometimes chanted at the beginning or end of class


Asana – the third of the eight limbs of Yoga, the direct translation is “seat,” it has come to mean the physical postures or practices of Yoga


Prananyama – the fourth limb of the eight limbs of Yoga, meaning breath control, there are many pranayama practices in the system of Yoga


Pratayahara – the fifth limb of Yoga, it means to withdraw your sense and turn your attention inward, it is an important practice to begin to observe yourself and create a meditative state


Dristi – gaze point, this allows our eyes to rest on one point which helps our mental focus and one-pointedness


Prana – life force energy, it is within the breath and contained in our “nadis” or lines of energy of our subtle body system


Chakras – translates to “wheel” or “circle,” the chakras are a system of seven energy centers in your body, they all have a physical location but are also a part of the subtle body


Mudra – translates to “seal” Mudras are generally done with your hands and fingers, they are a way of creating an energy seal


Vinyasa – means “to place in a special way,” it is a process of synchronizing or linking breath and movement


Savasana – translates to “corpse pose,” it is the final posture of class, it is an active relaxation, that creates deep states of peace


Namaste – the way Yoga classes end, we bring our palms together at heart centre and bow, the term means “the light in me honours the light in you.”


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