5 Sanskrit Terms To Know When You Begin Your Yoga Practice

 In Blog, Yoga Classes Austin

As your yoga instructor calls out “adho mukha shvanasana” as the next pose you should transition into, you might see a few people looking around the yoga class with bewildered faces. However, it’s simply downward-facing dog! Though you and many other people may be more familiar with the English term for the pose, many instructors will intersperse Sanskrit terms throughout their yoga classes.

As a beginner yogi, this can be intimidating. Let us be the first to say, don’t worry! Your yoga instructor and other classmates are cheering you on. Yoga is about self-awareness, but that doesn’t mean comparing yourself to everyone else. Simply honor what you and your body can do on your mat that day. However, to make you a bit more comfortable the first time you walk into a yoga studio, here are five basic terms to become familiar with as a yogi. Whether you’re looking for yoga meditation, beginner yoga, or hot yoga classes, Yoga Pod Austin has you covered. Get 30 days of yoga classes for only $30 today and kickstart the New Year!


Many people have heard this word before ever entering a yoga studio, but the meaning is often unknown or misunderstood. It directly translates to “seat,” but it is used to describe any yoga posture or movement. You’ll often hear “asana” at the end of a Sanskrit term — such as “eka pada pranamasana.”


When people are first searching for “yoga classes near me,” they’ll often see vinyasa yoga in the search results. The term “vinyasa” comes from the Sanskrit word “nyasa,” which means “to place,” and the prefix “vi,” which means “in a special way.” Your vinyasa yoga class places your breath and movement together to allow for an even flow through your yoga class.


In your yoga classes, your instructors will most likely bring up “ujjayi” breath. It translates to “victorious breath,” and you can trust us when we say it will help you feel victorious. These deep inhalations and exhalations through your nose create an ocean sound — you’ll be able to hear yourself and everyone else in class breathing.


This is the Sanskrit term for “focused gaze,” and it’s just like it sounds! From beginner yoga to advanced yoga, your instructors will advise you to find your “drishti” each time you’re in a balance pose.


Everyone and their dog, it seems, has heard this Sanskrit term. The definition is really quite lovely. From “nama” meaning “bow” and “te” meaning “to you,” this literally translates to “I bow to you.” Each yoga instructor generally has a more personalized way of saying this at the end of each yoga class.

Visit Yoga Pod Austin Today

Are you fluent in Sanskrit yet? We don’t expect you to be — and you don’t have to be in order to enjoy yoga classes with us! We offer beginner yoga, advanced yoga, hot yoga classes, meditation, and more at our yoga studio. Get 30 days of yoga classes for only $30 today.


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