Ever been to a Yoga class and wondered what on earth are they talking about? Feeling confused? Here are a few translations on the most commonly used terminology to help get you started.....
Yoga - The practice of Yoga can be traced back to as early 200 BCE in India.The name yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj which can be translated to unite, to join or to connect. Yoga aims to connect your mind, body and spirit through awareness by the physical practice of asana (posture), breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation. Yoga is non competitive, the focus is on your own the journey, making this a suitable form of exercise for people of all ages and abilites. A regular Yoga practice can greatly improve your health and overall wellbeing
Hatha- The word Hatha means wilful or forceful but can also be translated as Ha meaning sun and Tha meaning moon. This refers to a balance of masculine (hot,active,sun) to feminine (receptive,cool,moon). These aspects can be found in all of us. Hatha Yoga is a method that strives to create balance in uniting these opposites. In practicing Yoga we work with our mind and body to balance strength with flexibilty and effort with surrender.
Asana- The poses taught in a Yoga class are called Asanas. The word Asana can be translated as posture, seat or manner of sitting.
Pranayama- Pranayama are breathing exercises often taught in Hatha Yoga classes. The word can be divided into two syllables, Prana and Yama. Prana means life source or energy, Yama means control, hence Pranayama means the conrol of life energy.
Aum (Om) - Aum is mantra that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of a Yoga session. It is a sound vibration that represents everything in the universe and expresses ultimate reality.
Shanti - Simply means peace.
Namaste- Namaste is a gesture performed at the end of a class..Nama means bow, as means I, te means you. This gesture is an acknowledgement of the soul in one, to the soul of another.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali- The Yoga Sutras can be translated as thread (Sutras) of Union (Union). The Yoga Sutras are said to be greatest classical text from the yoga school of Indian philosophy. Patanjali, said to have been half man, half snake was said to have created this book around 200 BC, because of this he is refered to by many as the founder of Yoga.
Yamas and Niyamas - Yama (sanskit) यम, explained in the Yoga Sutras , means self-restraint, self-control and discipline. Niyama (sanskrit) नियम represent a series of right living or ethical rules. There are 10 traditional Yamas and Niyamas explained in the Sutras where it suggests you intergrate these values into your practice of Yoga and day to day life.
Hope you find this useful peeps! We realise that there is probably more than just a few so, look out for part 2 of this subject very soon... and any questions, just ask!
See you in class soon ;)
Hana and Aya xxx