Yoga lingo is something that, when I first started my practice, I was very confused by! The teacher kept calling the poses weird names, and I wasn’t sure if I was loosing my sh*t or they were speaking another language. Turns out- they were speaking another language! Most “old-school” yoga texts (including pose names), and the lingo we sometimes hear in classes are all in Sanskrit! To make this a little bit easier for you, I am going to list out some of the most commonly used Sanskrit words and their meanings! Let’s take a look:
(Ah-sah-nah) Asana means “seat” in Sanskrit, however it is interchangeable with the word “pose”. An Asana practice is what we call “yoga”. Yoga is a much broader term, but that is for a whole other post.
(nah-mah-stay) Namastay in bed. Probably one of my favorite yoga shirts I have ever seen. Namaste is probably the most well known Sanskrit word under the sun. The divine light in me-honors the divine light in you. Normally said as a greeting, and at the end of an Asana class (see what I did there?). Namaste is a way to say, “You rock, I rock, we rock.. Yay yoga!”
Oooohhmmm! Ommmmmmmmm. No doubt you have heard it, seen it, probably even smelt it. Om is the vibration of life. Normally, Om is chanted. When you chant Om you are literally tapping into the universes powerful energy. Om is seen as one of the most profound seed syllables to chant.
Shanti means peace. Often you here this in chanting, “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”, “Om Peace Peace Peace”. In Buddhism, when chanted three times, you are sending the energy of peace to yourself, each other, and our environment. Pretty cool, huh?
Prana is our essential life force, or our breath. Pranayama practices are breathing techniques. You know when you are in a yoga class and the teacher sounds like Darth Vader? That is a Pranayama practice. I know, you thought they were just really intense breathers.
I hope this post cleared up so lingo for you!
Om, Shanti Shanti Shanti-- Namaste Yogi Fam!