Yoga For Beginners – Glossary of Keywords Used in Yoga

If you have recently started yoga, you may have come across words or practices which are unfamiliar to you.

The following terms are some of the more popular words you may hear your yoga teacher use in your yoga class.

Asana – this is the term for a yoga posture or yoga pose. It literally means “steady pose.”

Being Present – A state of being where you are totally engaged and focused on the person or activity you are involved in at that moment.

Chakra – The word chakra means “wheel”. In yoga philosophy, the body consists of a number of minor and major energy centres or wheels of energy. Your energy flows through these energy centres. There are seven main Chakras – The root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye/brow chakra and crown chakra.

Chant – A repetition of sacred words and sounds that vibrate within and around the energy centres.

Chin Mudra – a hand mudra, linking the thumb and index finger

Guru – A teacher

Mantra – A sacred syllable, word or phrase used in meditation.

Mudra – Symbolic hand gestures or posture to control prana.

Namaste – A sacred greeting to remember and honour the sacred, the spirit within yourself and others.

Om – is also sometimes spelled Aum. Many yoga classes begin and end with the class sitting cross-legged, eyes closed chanting Om 3 times. Om is regarded as the original sound of creation. When you repeat it, you are in effect aligning yourself with the spirit of creation.

Pranayama – Control of the breath, a breathing exercise

Shanti – Peace

Spiritual – Of the spirit or the soul

Surya Namaskar – The Sun Salutation

Yoga – Union, to yoke

Yogi, one who practices yoga

I hope you find these terms useful in deepening your understanding of yoga.


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