Yoga can be an intimidating practice to get into not only because of the physicality of it, but also because of the foreign terms used throughout each class. This will be a breakdown of 5 popular terms you will need to know before your first class.
Vinyasa– This term is used to describe yoga that is practiced by stringing poses together. It is also commonly used by instructors to indicate that you should be linking your breath with your movements, inhaling in upward motions and exhaling when transitioning to the next movement.
Chaturanga– This is a movement used when transitioning into downward facing dog, and used many times throughout class. It begins in the high plank position. From there, you bend your elbows straight back, slowly lowering yourself toward the ground keeping your arms tight to your side into a low plank. Then you can go into any variation of a cobra pose, and finally push yourself up into downward facing dog.
Drishti– This is the practice of where your gaze should be focused. This helps to create self awareness and improve your focus. Focusing your gaze can also help to improve balance during certain poses.The instructor will tell you where your gaze should be aimed during class as well.
Savasana– This can also be referred to as corpse pose, it is the most relaxing part of class that comes when all the hard work is over. This is when you lay on your mat, spread out, and reflect on all you accomplished during class. The instructor will lower the lights, play calming music, and sometimes share a reading or quote they find to be moving. This pose helps one to relax and helps to reduce anxiety and stress. You should leave your palms facing up as well to receive energy and blessings from the universe.
Namaste– This what is said at the end of class, and it has a very beautiful meaning behind it. The meaning translates to “the divine in me acknowledges the divine in you.” The term is meant to acknowledge each others spirit and holiness. It is a respectful way for students and instructors to end class and go their separate ways.