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Common yoga words you need to know

Common yoga words you need to know
April 19, 2017 1 comment

There is a universal yoga language, Sanskrit, from ancient India where yoga is a huge thing. Many yoga teachers use it, and if you’re new to yoga these words can leave you confused and unfocused. Those are not the feelings we want in our yoga classes. But we are here to help you!

Remember the first time you heard quinoa and pinot grigio pronounced correctly? You never forgot those. The more you hear these yoga words, the easier they become to say and react to.

We want yoga to be relaxing for you, so here is a detailed list, complete with pronunciation!

Asana (ah-suh-nuh)

Asana literally means ‘to sit’ and traditionally refers to the seated posture used for meditation. More typically now in yoga, the term describes yoga poses such as balasana (child pose) or tadasana (mountain pose).

Ashtanga (ahsh-tahn-gah)

Meaning “eight-limbed” in Sanskrit, referring to the eight limbs of yoga, Ashtanga is known as “traditional Indian yoga”. This is a powerful and very physical practice that follows the same set of poses during each class. This is your go-to yoga class if you’re up for a challenge!

Mantra (mahn-trah)

A repeated phrase or sound typically used during meditation. The most frequently used is "Ohm".

Mudra (moo-druh)

Though this word isn’t used during class, you may have seen a sitting yogi with their palms up, thumbs and ring fingers touching – this is a mudra. Mudras are spiritual gestures done with hands and fingers that direct energy in the body.

Namaste (nah-mah-stay)

Translates loosely to “the light in me honors the light in you”. Native Indian speakers also use this as a way to say "hello" in their country. A typical way to close a yoga practice.

Om (ohm)

A bit freaked out when your first yoga class started out with a huge ohm chanting? No worries, not all yoga classes will have chanting, if that’s not your thing. But it is a common way to start and end a practice to focus on our full potential, calming the mind and creating some peace for your yoga practice.

Pranayama (prah-nah-yah-muh)

Refers to the breath and its movement in yoga. Many yoga classes we attend today focus on asanas and pranayamas.

Savasana (suh-vah-suh-nuh)

This is the final pose of any yoga class, where you get to lay on your mat and reflect (and maybe nap!).

Vinyasa (vihn-yah-suh)

Closely related to and sometimes confused with Ashtanga, Vinyasa is a fast paced yoga style that uses similar poses to Ashtanga, but not necessarily in the same order. Most importantly, Vinyasa links breath to movement during class.

Yogi/Yogini (yoh-ghee/yoh-ghee-nee)

Yogi typically refers to a man who practices yoga and yogini to a woman, but most just use ‘yogi’ to refer to anyone who practices yoga.


A Yoginista is a fashionista who loves yoga and who’s just not willing to go to yoga in a dull t-shirt. That simply doesn’t do anything good for your karma. If you wear your Yoga By Julz outfit, you should be just fine! :-)

Fitness health forever May 25, 2020 at 6:25 PM
This content is well-detailed and easy to understand. Thank you for creating a good content!

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