March 16, 2024

Yoga Words for Beginners

Yoga has its own vocabulary, and understanding all of its words is vital for safe practice. A good teacher will include Sanskrit and English translations into classes, though its unfamiliar terms may be intimidating for newcomers to the practice.

Kundalini (pronounced "koon-doo-linee") refers to spiritual energy that lies dormant at the base of your spine and can be awakened through yoga practice. Kundalini often manifests in physical sensations throughout your body; some poses specifically aim at awakening kundalini.

Prana, or (prah-na), life force, is another key term of yoga. Breathing helps direct and expand prana through energy channels called nadis. Most forms of yoga practice utilize techniques for controlling prana flow such as pranayama to do just this.

Savasana (shah-vas-sana), or corpse pose in yoga, is one of the most relaxing poses and should be performed while lying comfortably with arms and legs stretched outstretched to allow full relaxation. It marks the conclusion of every yoga session.

Other terms often associated with yoga include sat-sang (pronounced 'sah-tahn") - gathering to hear an experienced or enlightened yoga teacher discuss philosophical ideas; mudra (pronounced moo-drah) is an energy sealing gesture usually performed using hands but sometimes also whole body that helps seal energy coming in or going out; and Ahamkara or Ego Substitution Therapy must be overcome for spiritual enlightenment, or tantra yoga to succeed.

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