Yoga Words

As with many worlds, yoga has a number of words and phrases that will be new to you at first. If ever we use a term that doesn’t make sense to you please stop us and ask the meaning.

Here are a few words and phrases you might come across:

  • Asana- Posture
  • Ashtanga – yoga style based on the eight limbs of yoga
  • Bandhas – physical locks
  • Dharana-Concentration
  • Dhyana-Meditation
  • Eight Limbs of Yoga
  • Hatha – a yoga style which uses physical exercise and sequences to align skin, muscles and bones
  • Iyengar – a yoga style focusing on the correct alignment of the body
  • Namaste – a respectful greeting or farewell
  • Vinyasa – breath with movement
  • Yama- Ethical disciplines
  • Niyama- Self-observation
  • Nidra – a sleep like state experienced during deep mediatation. Sometimes known as “yogic sleep”
  • Om – a mantra sometimes chanted in yoga classes. The sound Om when chanted vibrates at a frequency of 432 Hz – the vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature. The vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation has a physical effect of slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind
  • Pranayama-Breath control
  • Pratyahara-Sense withdrawal
  • Restorative Yoga – a deeply relaxing and static form of yoga using blankets, bolsters and other props to support the body and allow it to rest and rejuvenate.
  • Samadhi-A state of joy and peace
  • “Sanskrit” – Ancient Indian Language in which all modern day European Languages stem from. The majority of Yoga Poses have an original Sanskrit name and an English translation For example, Padangustasana – a Standing Forward Bend
  • “Shanti”  – Peace. Usually used as part of a chant “Om shanti, shanti, shanti”  Peace individually, collectively and universally.
  • Yoga postures and sequences – your teacher will explain these as they are introduced to you. Early in your yoga practice you are likely to hear about downward facing dog, upward facing dog, warrior, cobra, sun salutation