A Glossary of Yoga Terms

A Glossary of Yoga Terms

Common Yoga poses for YTT (Sanskrit)

Adho Mukha Svanasana : Downward Facing Dog Pose

Ananda Balasana : Happy Baby Pose

Anjaneyasana : Low Lunge/Crescent Lunge

Arch Chandrasana : Half Moon Pose

Arda Uttanasana : Flat Back Pose

Baddha Konasana : Bound Angle Pose

Bakasana : Crow Pose

Balasana : Child Pose

Bhujangasana : Cobra Pose

Bitilasana : Cow Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana : Four-limbed Staff Pose

Dandasana : Staff Pose

Dhanurasana : Bow Pose

Garudasana : Eagle Pose

Gomukhasana : Cow Face Pose

Halasana : Plow Pose

Janu Sirsasana : Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose

Kapotasana : Pigeon Pose

Koundinyasana : Sage Kaundinya’s Pose

Malasana : Garland or Yogi Squat Pose

Marjaryasana : Cat Pose

Matsyasana : Fish Pose

Padmasana : Lotus Pose

Paripurna Navasana : Boat Pose

Parivrtta Trikonasana : Revolved Triangle

Parsva Bakasana : Side Crow

Parsvottanasana : Pyramid Pose

Paschimottanasana : Seated Forward Fold Pose

Phalakasana : Plank Pose

Salabhasana : Locust Pose

Samasthiti : Steady Standing

Sarvangasana : Shoudler Stand Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana : Bridge Pose

Sukhasana : Easy Pose

Supta Buddha Konasana : Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Tadasana : Mountain pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana : Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose

Urdhva Hastasana : Upward Facing Hands Pose

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana : Upward Facing Dog Pose

Ustrasana : Camel Pose

Utkatasana : Chair Pose

Uttanasana : Standing Forward Fold Pose

Utthan Pristhasana : Lizard Pose

Utthita Parsvakonasana : Extended Side Angle

Utthita Trikonasana : Triangle

Vasisthasana : Side Plank Pose

Virabhadrasana I : Warrior 1 Pose

Virabhadrasana II : Warrior 2 Pose

Virabhadrasana III : Warrior 3 Pose

Virasana : Hero Pose

Vrksasana : Tree Pose

Common Yoga poses for YTT (English)

Boat Pose : Paripurna Navasana

Bound Angle Pose : Baddha Konasana

Bow Pose : Dhanurasana

Bridge Pose : Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Camel Pose : Ustrasana

Cat Pose : Marjaryasana

Chair Pose : Utkatasana

Child Pose : Balasana

Cobra Pose: Bhujangasana Pose

Cow Face Pose : Gomukhasana

Cow Pose : Bitilasana

Crow Pose : Bakasana

Downward Facing Dog Pose : Adho Mukha Svanasana

Eagle Pose : Garudasana

Easy Pose : Sukhasana

Extended Side Angle : Utthita Parsvakonasana

Fish Pose : Matsyasana

Flat Back Pose : Arda Uttanasana

Four-limbed Staff Pose : Chaturanga Dandasana

Garland or Yogi Squat Pose : Malasana

Half Moon Pose : Arch Chandrasana

Happy Baby Pose : Ananda Balasana

Head-to-Knee Forward Bend Pose : Janu Sirsasana

Hero Pose : Virasana

Lizard Pose: Utthan Pristhasana

Locust Pose : Salabhasana

Lotus Pose : Padmasana

Low Lunge/Crescent Lunge : Anjaneyasana

Mountain pose : Tadasana

Pigeon Pose : Kapotasana

Plank Pose : Phalakasana

Plow Pose : Halasana

Pyramid Pose : Parsvottanasana

Reclining Bound Angle Pose : Supta Buddha Konasana

Revolved Triangle : Parivrtta Trikonasana

Sage Kaundinya’s Pose : Koundinyasana

Seated Forward Fold Pose : Paschimottanasana

Shoulder Stand Pose : Sarvangasana

Side Crow : Parsva Bakasana

Side Plank Pose : Vasisthasana

Staff Pose : Dandasana

Standing Forward Fold Pose : Uttanasana

Steady Standing : Samasthiti

Tree Pose : Vrksasana

Triangle : Utthita Trikonasana

Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose : Urdhva Dhanurasana

Upward Facing Dog Pose : Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Hands Pose : Urdhva Hastasana

Warrior 1 Pose : Virabhadrasana I

Warrior 2 Pose : Virabhadrasana II

Warrior 3 Pose : Virabhadrasana III

Relevant Yoga terms for YTT:

8 limbs Path : derives from the Sanskrit term Ashtanga, ‘ashta’ meaning eight and ‘anga’ meaning limb. They are considered the branches or steps of yoga that act as guidelines to live a purposeful and meaningful life. The eight limbs consist of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Each of the branches centers around

Āsana “AH-sah-nah”: translates to physical yoga postures. In Sanskrit, the root as means “seat” or “to be” in a position. In the Yoga Sutra, Asana encompasses the ability to remain in a particular position while being calm, steady and aware. Although there are hundreds of yoga postures, they do not carry the same outcome without the full understanding of what Asana represents.

Bandha: a body lock or bind that helps to gain more control of energy in a particular area. This allows us to elevate or intensify the processes of yoga and can bring more balance to our practice both physically and energetically.

Chakra “CHAH-kra”: subtle energy centers within the astral body along the spinal column. It means “wheel” or “disk” in Sanskrit and refers to 7 different chakras which are all intimately connected to one another. Each chakra has a unique focal point, energetic meaning and correspond physiologically to specific regions. By aligning these, we come to balance and allow the energy to move up more freely.

Dharana : is the sixth of the 8-limbed path of yoga and refers to complete concentration or steady focus. This limb embodies the phrase “being in the moment” to its fullest extent by keeping full attention on one object or idea.

Dhyana : is the seventh of the 8-limbed path of yoga in which the ability to focus heightens to a deeper state of meditation.

Flow: the ability to move through various states effortlessly and consciously. In order to maintain this idea of flow, it is imperative we find a steady foundation in order to link one thing to another. It is most recognized in Vinyasa style yoga yet it can also relate to how we breathe, how we think, and how we adapt to change in a fluid manner. Go with the flow!

Hatha: a branch of Yoga that literally means the balance of sun and moon energies. ‘Ha’ represents the characteristics and energy of the moon while ‘tha’ represents the characteristics and energy of the sun. The use of physical postures and breathing techniques to increase our human potential and to cultivate the state of yoga.

Mantra: a powerful word, phrase or simple sound repeated as a form of meditation. It is often combined with visualization or imagery to deepen the meaning and bring about heightened states of awareness.

Mudra: a symbol or a gesture of body, hands, and eyes. It means “seal” or “closure” in Sanskrit as a means to guide the flow of energy. They are used in preparation for purifying the body of imbalances and to enhance meditation. They also relate to the nadis within the subtle body.

Nadi: a pathway or a subtle channel in the body through which prana can move. There are 72,000 nadis within the body, almost like an energetic irrigation system.

Namaste “nah-mah-stay”: fosters a connection between heart and soul with the recognition that we are all one. It is spoken with a subtle bow and palms pressed together at the heart used as a respectful greeting, a spiritual gesture and a compassionate acknowledgment. It means “the light within me honors and recognizes the light within you” or “when I am in the place of love and oneness and you are in the place of love and oneness, we are one.”

Niyama: represents a series of 5 “personal observances” and “positive duties” to help us live yoga beyond the mat. They encompass recommended habits to sustain healthy living and spiritual enlightenment originated from the Yoga Sutras as part of the 8 limbs of Yoga.

Om “Aum”: known as the external sound or vibration of the entire Universe. It is comprised of three phonetic sounds A-U-M which weaved together creates a peaceful vibratory hum. It is often chanted three times to represent the unity of creation. Chanting Om brings about a feeling of balance and can enable a deeper state of awareness. The audible Om is represented by the symbol shown here ॐ

Patanjali: sometimes considered the “father” of yoga and is thought to be the author of the Yoga Sutras. Known as a mysterious being, Patanjali has strongly influenced the practice of yoga and is often referenced in many other sacred texts as well as modern day books.

Prana “PRAH-nah”: known as our life force or energy. Many times it is exemplified by our breath however it is much more considering its presence in everything within the Universe. Like the breath, it streams throughout our body but the quality in which it moves depends on how well balanced and resilient we become. Without prana, life ceases to exist.

Prānāyāma: refers to various conscious breath techniques. Often this is considered the most important aspect of the yoga practice. Broken down simply, Prana means “energy that is everywhere” and Ayama translates to “extend,” symbolizing vitality. By paying attention to how we breathe, we can cultivate more presence within our practice.

Pratyahara : the fifth limb of 8-limbed path of yoga and is the conscious withdrawal of the senses from the outside world. In this state, yoga practitioners find space between sensory stimulus and response to heighten inner awareness.

Samadhi : the final limb of the 8-limbed path, often considered the “goal” of yoga. It refers to the unification of the mind and ultimate bliss. This state can be deeply meditative resulting in complete union or oneness.

Sanskrit: one of the oldest known languages in the world, sacred to ancient India. A majority of classical yoga postures still use the original Sanskrit translation you sometimes hear in classes today. The first teachings of yoga were written in this ancient text.

Savasana “Shah-VAH-sah-nah”: Corpse pose. Considered the final rest in a yoga practice. Meant to be relaxing in the physical body, it also challenges the mind to find the pockets of stillness. It is a posture for experiencing pratyachara (sensory withdrawal) and is a precursor to meditation.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation: a classic series of yoga postures that open the front and back lines of the body, typically integrated in every Hatha or Vinyasa class. Broken up, surya means “the sun” and namaskar means “to bow,” symbolizing a salute to the sun and the strong energies that come with it.

Ujjayi “ooh-JAH-yee” : is a common form of yoga breath or pranayama in which one inhales with an oceanic sounding vibration in the throat. It is done with a slight contraction of the vocal cords and is used often in a Vinyasa style yoga class to bring more attention to the breath and warming to the body. It feels the same as if you were to fog up a glass or a mirror with your breath.

Yamas: represent a series of five ethical disciplines concerning how we interact with the world and live our yoga off the mat . It means “to have control” or “to rein in” originated from the Yoga Sutras as part of the 8 limbs of Yoga.

Yoga Sutra: a sacred text offering wisdom and guidance to living a purposeful and meaningful life. Translated as “a thread” in Sanskrit, this philosophical collection of 196 aphorisms discuss the process to become whole.


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