New to yoga? With any new hobby or sport, you’re going to encounter words that you’ve never heard before. At FreshJax, our yoga teachers make a conscious effort to help our students build their knowledge of yoga terms, postures, and body awareness. However, there will be times that your teacher is flowing through a series of postures and movements without defining or translating certain terms and Sanskrit names of postures. We have put together a list for you to refer to of common terminology you may hear at FreshJax. This way, you can get your yoga on with less wondering and more awareness.
sanas: physical postures of yoga
Pranayama: breath awareness to make inner stillness possible
Mantra: repetitive sounds, syllables, or words that facilitate a positive transformation
Meditation: calming the mind to reach deeper levels of consciousness, often through breathing exercises
Mudra: a symbolic gesture using the entire body or just the hands and fingers that has an influence on the energies or mood of the body
Namaste: commonly said at the end of yoga class by the instructor and the students, a respectful greeting honoring the divine within
Props: tools such as mats, blocks, bolsters, and straps used to increase range of motion and create ease in a pose
Savasana: final relaxation
Chakras: swirling points of energy in the body; there are 7 common chakras, though the body is filled with them
Mula Bandha: the root lock; an energy lock created by the contraction of the perineum in the male and the pelvic floor in the female
Ujjayi: a type of pranayama (breath) in which the lungs are fully expanded and the chest is puffed out; an ocean sounding breath
Prana: vital energy source sustaining life and creation
Drishti: yogic gaze or concentrated attention while in asanas
Om (pronounced aum): a mantra and mystical sound of yoga, often chanted together at the end of class
Contraindication: a medical term often used in yoga to describe a physical condition that makes a particular pose inadvisable
Modification: a change made to a posture, often using props, to help the posture be beneficial and healing to a student with specific needs, contraindications, or injuries
At FreshJax, we strive to make you feel welcomed and encouraged. Part of creating this safe, sacred space for you is helping you to follow our yoga sequences with understanding, rather than fumbling through the postures as you look around the room for clarity. If there's a term, transitional movement, concept, posture, or prop that you're not familiar with, we encourage you to ask your teacher for clarification after class, or even during class if the opportunity presents itself. Yoga teachers are not medical professionals, so there may be occasional questions unique to your body that they are not qualified to answer. However, we will always do our best to provide and seek better understanding and awareness for our yoga students here at FreshJax.
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