April 3, 2024

Yoga Words and Their Mystical Origins

Be it new to yoga or established practitioner, navigating its language can be daunting. Not only are there poses and movements to consider but there is also the etymology and spiritual roots of some words used in yoga practice that may seem strange or out-of-the-blue!

Savasana, for instance, is one of the more ubiquitous terms associated with yoga; its translation into Sanskrit from English reads as: corpse pose + asana = pose. Savasana typically used at the end of class as a relaxation pose that's sometimes followed by guided meditation but there may be deeper roots behind its name than meets the eye.

Karma (KAHM-rah) is another concept. Karma refers to the principle that we reap what we sow; this belief rests on our actions having direct impacts on our state of being; however, it should never be used as an excuse for moral judgments against people who may not be healthy or able-bodied.

Meditation, known by its Sanskrit name dhyana (DEE-ay-nuh), is another key term of yoga practice. Dhyana involves deep concentration of mind and body to achieve peace. Dhyana allows one to tap into more spiritual realms than traditional practice of yoga alone can offer. Like Om, Dhyana can be spoken out loud or repeated mentally in order to increase concentration when meditating; additionally it's used in pranayama (controlled breathing).

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