Namaste! Are you wondering why we keep using this incomprehensible foreign language in yoga? We try to make sure that you will understand us, and ultimately some of the poses we commonly use the Sanskrit name for you will get to know.
The thing is, as the title suggests, Sanskrit is the language of yoga.
When you take a ballet class you can expect to plie, pirouette and pas de deux! Nobody really questions it. When you learn classical music, you will adagio, presto and allegretto. It is all to do with the history and origin of the discipline.
So the origin of yoga is India and the language of yoga is Sanskrit. Here are some Sanskrit words that are a little more common.
Namaste – literally “I bow to you”, often interpreted as “The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you”.
Anjali mudra – holding the hands in prayer position in front of the heart.
Asana – posture
Urdhva hastasana – arms over head pose
Uttanasana – standing deep forward bend pose
Trikonasana – triangle pose
Paschimottonasana – side flank stretch pose
After a while, for many of the poses the Sanskrit name will come to mind almost faster than the English. Until then, we do endeavour most of the time to remember to give the English even when the Sanskrit is also given.