COMMONLY USED WORDS & PHRASES
Asana (AH-sah-na) – Translates as “seat”, but refers to the physical postures of a yoga practice.
Ayurveda (i-yur-vay-dah) – Often referred to as Yoga’s “Sister Science,” it is a practice and healing system, based on nature and its 5 elements (Air, earth, fire, space and water).
Bandha – “Internal lock;” used for controlling the energy within the body during yoga practice. The three bandhas taught in most forms of hatha yoga are root lock, abdominal lock and throat lock
Chakras – The word chakra translates into wheel. Chakras are wheels of energy within the subtle plane of existence, which help to assimilate and organize prana, or life force energy. Our 7 primary chakras are located in the body following the line of the spinal column from the pelvic floor to the crown of the head, which assist in governing different aspects of our life.
Chaturangua Dandasana – “Four-Limbed-Staff-Pose,” or “Low Plank.” This is the bottom portion of a yoga push-up and part of a Sun-Salutation; the foundation of many Hatha Yoga classes.
Drishti – Translates as “Point of Focus”, and refers to your where you focus your eyes when practicing poses that challenge your balance, during Pranayama (breathing exercises) or meditation.
Mantra – Most commonly a word or phase, This is repeated in the mind mostly an repeated in the mind to help cultivate deep focus, while invoking a sense of calm, feeling, way of being, or intention.
Meditation – Means “to become familiar with”, and is the practice of complete concentration when the mind is fully focused on a single point, whether that be a mantra, an object, the breath, the body, or simply observing the flow of thoughts within the mind.
Mudra (moo-dra) – The word mudra translates as “seal” or “gesture”, most commonly practiced with the hands, but can also incorporate the whole body, and is used to seal in energetic flow and help to manifest an intention or way of being.
Namaste (na-mah-stay) – A Hindu salutation that means, “I bow to you”, and used as to close a yoga class, with the honorable expression of “The divine in me recognizes and honors the divine in you.” Namaste is always offered with Anjali or prayer mudra, sealing the palms in front of the heart.
Om – The universal sound, often used to close a yoga practice, and when broken down has 3 syllables, each representing their own specific function. “Ah” represents creation, “Ooo” represents preservation, and “Mmmm” represents transformation.
Prana – Often referred to as “life force energy”, but more accurately translated into “constant motion”, as Prana is the vibratory force that animates all living things. In Chinese medicine, Prana is referred to as “Chi”.
Pranayama – Is the controlling of life force energy through breathing techniques.
Sanskrit - Is the classical indian language used in yoga to define yoga postures and sequences. This is not a requirement to join classes! :-)
Savasana – Corpse pose; final relaxation. Typically performed at the end of every Hatha Yoga class, no matter what style. Often said to be the most important part of class.
Ujjayi (oo-jai-ee) – Is an audible breath technique produced by a slight contraction of the throat muscles, which creates an oceanic sound at the back of the throat with each inhale and exhale. This form of breathing is excellent for creating internal heat while cultivating deep focus in the mind.
Vinyasa – Translates as “to place in a special way” and is commonly referred to in class as flow. Moving in and through postures synchronized with the breath.