Some regular terms we hear in Yoga Class…
When we are in class, we often hear the teacher say some phrases and words that are hard to decipher.
‘Focus on your drishti!’ / ‘Feel your Prana flowing’
What do these phrases mean? How can they benefit your practice? The Yogi Dictionary can help!
In this post, we look at some common phrases heard in a Yoga Class and break them down, making them easily understandable, with advice on how to incorporate them into your practice.
– The Yogi Dictionary –
1.Drishti is a point of focus that helps us to balance.
When we practice an asana posture that requires us to balance, have focus, and be stable, our teacher usually tells find a point to fix our gaze our upon. This helps us stay both physically and mentally steady. ‘Drishti’ can be a point on the wall, our thumbs, a hand, our big toe, to name a few!
the most common time I use this term is when students are practicing Vriksasana-Tree pose.
2. Pranayama is the flow of energy within the body when we practice breathwork.
Prana – our vital life force, our energy and breath which gives us energy and sustains and vitalises the body;
Ayama – “ extend, draw out” meaning to extend and draw out.
In class, we often do breathwork techniques to encourage the flow of Prana and bring a soothing calm to the nervous system.
3. Prana – our vital life force, our energy and breath which gives us energy and sustains and vitalises the body.
4. Nadis – Energy channels through which Prana flows.
Nadi is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘tube, pipe, nerve, blood vessel, pulse’. It is is a term for the energy channels through which Prana flow. The Nadis are said to connect at special points of energetic intensity, known as the chakras.
5. Mudra – the hand positions used in poses and meditation practice.
The term mudra translates to ‘seal, mark or gesture’. It is defined as the use of hand gestures during meditation and Yoga Asana Practice that help with channeling the flow of energy and Prana within the boy.
A common mudra is Gyan Mudra – the Mudra of Knowledge.
6. Ahimsa – No harm – No violence in thouse and action.
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘no harm’ or ‘no violence’ in English.
It can be found in the 1st limb of Ashtanga Yoga and is one of the five Yamas. (Yamas are ethical standards and a code of conduct in the Yoga Sutras).
As well as The Yogi Dictionary , we have some other useful related blog posts for you to read to delve deeper into Yoga Philosophy.
Asthanga means the eight limbed path. (ashta = 8, anga = limbs).
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras state that to live a meaningful and purposeful life, one should follow ‘Ashtanga’. Ashta translates to eight and Anga translates to limbs in Sanskrit, so the word Ashtanga means the eight limbed path.
There are eight limbs to Ashtanga Philosophy, which focus on self-control, self-discipline and moral and ethical codes we should live by as Yogis.
They give advice on staying healthy, cleanliness of self and environment, meditation and physical asana practice.
Ahimsa is one of the most important aspects of Yoga.
Ahimsa means no harm. This means to any living beings, including yourself In both action and thought.
Peace begins with no violence and no harm. To be truly at peace, you have to be at peace with yourself and others, internally as well as externally.
I wrote a previous blog post which goes into Ahimsa in more depth, it can be read here.
Learning philosophy and Sanskrit will really benefit your Yoga Practice both on and off the mat.
I hope you found this article insightful.
Did you find The Yogi Dictionary useful?