Yoga and Meditation Terminology For Beginners

The Sanskrit terminology used in Yoga and Meditation can make yoga therapy seem very intimidating to those of us just starting. However, understanding the yoga terminology will deepen the richness of your classes and will help you to follow the yoga teacher’s instructions during guided meditation.

Below is a list of 10 essential terms for you to memorize. Some of them you may have heard before. Say them out loud as you go along:

  • Asana – translates to ‘seat’. During class, each posture or pose is called an asana.
  • Chakra – translates to ‘wheel’. These are the energy centers in the body between the top of your head and the base of your spine.
  • Chaturanga – An asana (pose). Also called the low plank. This posture requires shoulder, arm and core strength (similar to a push-up, but you hold the position).
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (also known as Downward Facing Dog) – Probably one of the more widely known yoga poses. It looks like an inverted ‘V’.
  •   Mantra – This could be a word, phrase or sound that can be chanted in the mind or out loud to improve concentration during meditation.
  •   Mudra – A gesture or hand position that increases concentration and connection during meditation and yoga practice.
  • Namaste – Roughly translates to ‘the light within me honours the light within you’. Usually said at the end of a yoga class, with the head bowed and the palms pressed together in the center of the chest.
  •   Om – This word has many meanings, but is often translated as the ‘universal sound of consciousness’.
  •   Shanti – Translates to ‘peace’.
  • Savasana – Translates to ‘corpse’. This is a relaxed pose, usually performed at the end of class.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some of the lingo, you’re probably itching to sign up for a yoga class or guided meditation with a yoga teacher. However, if you still have doubts about starting your yoga journey, pay a visit to The Chopra Meditation Centre, where you’ll have access to several free guided meditations by trained yoga teachers with the click of a button.

For a more hands-on experience, contact Janet Haughton Quarshie of Atha Jiva today to book your first guided meditation class.

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Janet Haughton Quarshie

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